Monday, November 12 2007 @ 04:05 PM UTC
Contributed by: B' Spokes
PEMCO Insurance Northwest Poll Finds Tensions Between Cyclists, Drivers
SEATTLE, Nov. 6 /PRNewswire/ -- The greater Seattle region has a ways to go before becoming one of the country's great bicycling cities, according to the results of the 2007 PEMCO Insurance Northwest Poll. And, the poll shows, some of the biggest challenges are not funding bike trails or signage, but changing attitudes and creating a spirit of sharing the road between cyclists and drivers.
"There's still a lot of misunderstanding between riders and motorists," said Osterberg. "Many times that misunderstanding fuels some dangerous encounters, like the road rage incident in Fremont a few days ago." In that incident, a motorist frustrated with a cyclist's use of a lane allegedly followed and harassed the cyclist with his vehicle. The poll shows why such a scenario can occur: only one out of every five Washingtonians (20 percent) believes that it is legal for bicyclists to ride two abreast, taking up an entire lane of traffic.
Two of the most important aspects of bicyclists' legal rights are the right to take an entire lane, and to ride two-abreast in a lane.
"Drivers often get frustrated by that, but it's the law, and it's there to provide a margin of safety for the rider," Osterberg said.