Thursday, October 2, 2008

Noticed by Locals (Ahwatukee), Unfortunately

Phoenix Police Officer (and Bicycle-Pedestrian Coordinator) Toby Ehrler met with a group of Ahwatukee cyclists before dawn on Thursday, October 2. He had requested any interested cyclist to be present. Coalition Board members (and LCIs) Radar Matt and I attended.

The issue arose from complaints by neighbors that cyclists were monopolizing the street and not observing stop signs. Officer Toby Ehrler encouraged compliance with the rules of the road and came up with a good means for riders in a group to comply with stop signs. That is, groups of four (2 sets of 2-abreast) following each other make their brief stops as a group, then proceed (when path is clear). He pointed out that 4 cyclists have about the same footprint as a motor vehicle, hence the spirit of the rules are followed. Being a cyclist himself, he can speak from experience.
Afterward, Toby assured us that the enforcement he is talking about is the same for cyclists, pedestrians and motorists alike. On that we agree.

One of the group members, while appreciating the education and advocacy work of the Coalition, expressed reservations about the meeting in an email. I replied that our involvement is that when any cyclist breaks the rules of the road, there is a motorist that says “See, they don’t belong on the road” at best, or possibly, “The next one I see, they better look out” at worst.

That hurts every one of us

Gene Holmerud, This article originally appeared in Sprocketeer V02N04

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