Bicyclists should not be allowed on roads
Debate Rounds (3)
first of all, bicyclists should not ride on the sidewalk, unless it has a path specifically designated for bikes (never in a residential area). that would be like driving a motorcycle 15-20mph down a pedestrian sidewalk; you could hit a pedestrian, or a child running off their front lawn, or a car that is backing out of a driveway.
anyway, i really don't know where you are getting this because i never see bicyclists ride on the street when there is a bike path, unless they need to make a left turn or something, which is perfectly understandable and legal because it is unsafe to make a left from the right lane, and cars shouldnt go too fast around turns anyway so they arent being held up by any more than a couple seconds. i think you might be mistaking the bike lane for the door zone that is next to the bike lane. the door zone is off limits to cars AND bikes because people parked on the curb often tend to quickly open their door without checking behind them, which would cause an accident if you were driving in the door zone. plus, there is often a lot of dangerous debris on the side of the road.
also, using a bicycle is much more friendly to the environment, and healthy, so they deserve their right to share the road.
there are much more common problems that i see like bikes on the wrong side of the road, bikes on the sidewalk, and bikes going through red lights. sometimes i even see people doing all three of those things at the same time! i think anyone who rides a bike on the road should be required to get a bike riding license, so they know the rules of the road.
for bicyclists to be on a road with cars than it is for pedestrians to be on a sidewalk with bicyclists.
You said you don't know where I'm getting this from because you never see bicyclists ride on the street when there is a bike path. I'll repeat what I typed in my opening statement : "Daily, I see people on mountain bikes slowly cruising along the road when there is an empty bike path just 10 feet to their right." Just because you don't see it happening, doesn't mean it isn't happening. Cars get held up all the time by bicyclists on the road. Not all bicyclists have common sense. They don't all ride on the very right edge of the shoulder. Most of them ride in the actual lane that cars are in... close to the shoulder, but not in it. This is highly unacceptable, especially because the bicyclist is going no more than 15 miles an hour. When they are in the driving lane, cars cannot go around them because we will be involved in a head on collision with oncoming traffic. So what do we do? We wait until no cars are coming the other way, so we can safely pass the inconsiderate and selfish bicyclist who thinks he is driving a car.
Whether or not a bicycle is riding on a road or on a sidewalk, it will be just as friendly to the environment and just as healthy. So I'm not sure why that was used as a point in favoring bikes on the road as opposed to a sidewalk.
Look at it this way. This is all about whether or not bicyclists should be on roads or on sidewalks/bike paths. If we have bicyclists on the roads only, they can't be on sidewalks/bike paths, what are the dangers? If we have bicyclists on sidewalks/bike paths only, no roads, what are the dangers?
When a person riding a bike is on a sidewalk/bike path, he can run into pedestrians on foot. What will happen? The pedestrian will get knocked to the ground, they'll get bruised, they'll get cuts and scrapes, they will bleed, hey, they may even get a fracture or break. That's no good right?
When a person is riding a bicycle on the road, he can get hit by a huge metallic machine traveling 50 miles an hour. What will happen? Oh nothing, just death. If the bicyclist is lucky, he gets to spend a month in the hospital in a full body cast and maybe he'll just have permanent brain damage or if he's lucky, both.
I agree when you say bikes go through red lights. This is one of numerous problems with bicyclists on the road. They think because they are on a bike and not in a car, they don't have to follow any of the rules that car drivers do. They think they can go around cars or in between them, go straight through stop signs and straight through lights. I see this happen a lot, as you do. Yes, at the very least, if it is absolutely necessary for a bicyclist to be on a road, they should be required to get a license and pay monthly insurance, because they do cause accidents.
"Bicycles don't have motors. So, riding a bicycle on a sidewalk is nothing like riding a motorcycle on a sidewalk."
how are they nothing alike? one thing going 15 mph is similar to another thing going 15 mph.
"It is much more dangerous for bicyclists to be on a road with cars than it is for pedestrians to be on a sidewalk with bicyclists."
no way. have you tried going 15 mph on a bike on the sidewalk, in a residential area? there are a lot of low trees, and children running from out of no where, and cars backing out who have as little visibility as you do because of all the bushes and everything. as both a car driver, and a bike rider, i much prefer that bicyclists obey the law by staying off the sidewalk. it is way less hazardous to share the road in a residential area (when there is no bike path). when you ride a bike on the sidewalk, your safety, and the safety of others, is up to chance, and many accidents cannot be avoided even if everyone is being as safe as possible, because there is very limited visibility and many obstacles. however, when you share the road, the only reason you would get into an accident is if the car driver or bicyclist was very careless and not keeping their eyes on the road. another reason i feel mush safer riding my bike off the sidewalk is because i know cars can see me, so they wont run into me when they turn right at an intersection or something. more visibility means more safety.
"Just because you don't see it happening, doesn't mean it isn't happening."
it means it's rare, at best. why would a bicyclist ride on the road when there is a bike path? that wouldnt even be in the bikers interest, so they dont do it. besides, i am a pizza delivery driver. i've driven around town 6 days a week, for the last 3 years and i have never seen bikers leave an available bike lane, unless they need to make a left turn.
"They don't all ride on the very right edge of the shoulder."
sometimes the lane is not big enough to share, so the biker needs to "take the lane", as they are supposed to, so that car drivers dont try to dangerously sneak past the bikes at an unsafe time. if there is room enough to share, then they should be on the right side, but if there isnt enough room, they have to occasionally "take the lane" by riding towards the left side for a short time. this is the safe thing to do, believe it or not. this is what they are instructed to do by police, and the law.
"We wait until no cars are coming the other way, so we can safely pass the inconsiderate and selfish bicyclist who thinks he is driving a car."
it is tricky to ride a bike around town. bicyclists get enough people angry at them, so most of them try their best to be courteous. if a biker isnt being courteous, then yes, i have a problem with that. but if a biker is being courteous, they should be able to share the road when they need to.
"they should be required to get a license and pay monthly insurance, because they do cause accidents."
i wouldnt go that far. that is like forcing pedestrians to get pedestrian insurance.
I'm not sure why you think bicyclists on roads are safer from cars than pedestrians on sidewalks are safer from bicyclists. You'll find that the humble and common sensical bike riders want to be on paths and sidewalks, while the arrogant and clueless bike riders want to be on a road because they think they are invincible.
And no, I haven't tried going 15 mph on a sidewalk because that's just plain stupid. If you're somebody like Lance Armstrong, drive your bicycle to a safe place and then do your speed runs. If you are a casual bike rider who uses a mountain bike, you should be going slow on paths and sidewalks. If you see a low tree... slow down, go under it. Not too difficult. If you're in an area with bushes lining the sidewalk, use your eyes, pay more attention, be more aware. Not difficult. Simply put, if you're a bike rider on a sidewalk in a residential area, just pay attention and don't look straight ahead the entire time. If kids are running around in the yard, they should be taught by their parents to look both ways. If the children are too young to understand that concept, they shouldn't be alone outside without parental supervision. As far as cars pulling out of driveways and bike riders not being able to see them and vice versa:
Bike riders should recognize that as an intersection. When you see a driveway coming, slow down and make sure a car isn't backing out. It's just like a yield or stop sign out on the road, you aren't going to blow right through it. Slow down and make sure you're safe to go. It's pretty simple.
You say : "when you ride a bike on the sidewalk, your safety, and the safety of others, is up to chance, and many accidents cannot be avoided even if everyone is being as safe as possible, because there is very limited visibility and many obstacles." I say : The only obstacles are trash cans on the sidewalk, pedestrians who you can safely ride around by going slow and informing them you are about to pass, and unsupervised 3 year olds who are about to run into a street. Limited visibility? Bushes lining a sidewalk. If people are so worried about hitting or getting hit in these areas, they just need to be cautious instead of wandering around like a brainless blob that is unaware of their surroundings and what is going on. Also, to further refute your point, when you ride your bike on a road, your safety, and the safety is others, is up to chance. More visibility doesn't necessarily mean more safety. Bike riders on roads get hit on straight roads in broad daylight often and they are killed. Not a minor injury, but death.
You say : "Just because you don't see it happening, doesn't mean it isn't happening." I say : "No problem, I'll repeat myself again on this same topic. It is not rare at best. When I say I see it daily, here in my town, not your town, but mine, that does not mean it's rare. Good question, why would a bicyclist ride on the road when there is a bike path? You're right, it wouldn't be in the bikers best interest. But yes, they do do it. So again I'll say, just because you don't ever see it, doesn't mean it isn't happening. Your logic in that sentence = Because I have never seen a girl get raped, it means that doesn't happen. Sadly, you're wrong. You must be the fortunate one, to live in an area where bike riders are always on bike paths. Lucky you. For clarity, this is the very reason I started this debate. I am baffled as to why the bike riders are always on the road in my town, and never on the paths and sidewalks.
I'd like to share the type of mentality that pedestrians on paths and sidewalks have. The following mentality is accurate because I've spoken with numerous walkers and joggers and 9/10 times I get the same answer:
" I don't want bicyclists on paths and sidewalks with me because they can run into me and I'll get hurt. I don't want to get hurt. I don't want to get a fracture or broken bone. They need to ride on roads." That is selfish. They would rather bicyclists be put onto roads for car drivers to worry about. Pedestrians don't want to have to deal with bicyclists, so they throw them to the road for car drivers. It's their burden now. They don't stop think about the dangers for a bicyclist riding with his back to traffic (because they are supposed to ride with traffic). The pedestrians don't stop to think that if the cyclists get hit, they will die. Why should pedestrians have to deal with bruises and blood, when they can have bicyclists on roads getting killed? Because they don't think about it, and even if they do, they don't care. "Better him than me, right?" These are the same hypocritical people, who as pedestrians, complain about bicycles on paths and sidewalks, but once those same pedestrians get into their car and are on the road, they complain about the bicyclists being on the road.
Moral of the story : Apparently a majority of people would rather have bicycles on roads getting killed every day, instead of having pedestrians on paths and sidewalks getting minor injuries.
Where is the logic? Non-existent.
induced forfeited this round.
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