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Sunday, April 17, 2011

Drivers, cyclists will need to learn to share roads [The Dispatch]


The death of cyclist Steve Barbour in 2009, the trial of Ed Miller and the deaths in 2010 of Columbus cyclists Jeff Stevenson and Trent Music have created a palpable tension between motorists and cyclists in central Ohio. A war of words has erupted in The Dispatch.
Cyclists are rightfully angry that one of their most cautious and beloved brethren was killed and then blamed for causing his own death. Motorists argue that cyclists drive carelessly, should "pay for" using the roads though licenses and taxes and should not be allowed on certain roads in the first place.
Let's step back, take stock and address some of these concerns.
Why are cyclists allowed on the roads? The roads in Ohio, and throughout the U.S., are public ways open for all to exercise a constitutional right to travel. Bicycles were on the roads before cars existed. Bicycle operators were included as legitimate, legal road users in the first traffic laws and rules of the road in all 50 states. Under Ohio law, bicycles may use every non-freeway road and may not be banned from the roadway.

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