Share the Road

The Ontario Ministry of Transportation provides some good advice in this news release from yesterday: http://news.ontario.ca/mto/en/2014/06/share-the-road—-same-rules-same-rights.html

My quibble would be with why we need a government ministry to tell us this. It’s mostly common sense. How much did it cost to release this on a national holiday?

Anyway the key point is: “Bicycles are considered vehicles, just like cars or trucks, which means they must obey all applicable traffic laws under the Highway Traffic Act.” Attention drivers: that means cyclists are allowed on the road and can occupy a lane. Get used to it. Attention cyclists: you have a responsibility to obey the rules of the road. Don’t run lights or stop signs or ride on the sidewalk. And signal for pity’s sake.

On my commute this morning, I had a driver beep and shake her head at me because I dared to stray from the bike path on Bloor-Danforth to pass another cyclist despite my signalling and staying as tight to the bike lane as possible. She was impatient which I find bizarre because traffic was fairly heavy and I ended up passing her anyway. And of course I could have taken the whole lane if I wanted to.

6 comments

  1. Hear, hear! And, I think I should really take that ‘whole lane’ advice to heart when cycling in the ‘burbs. Drivers in the suburbs know even less what to do with cyclists on the road than people down town, which is actually kind of terrifying. I’d love to read your thoughts about cycling in the suburbs, or any differences/similarities in the cycling culture that you may have observed.

    1. Thanks for the comment. In my opinion, the suburbanites tend to be less friendly to lone cyclists because they are not used to them. The ones they are used to are the weekend distance riders who cycle in large groups and take up entire lanes for several kilometres – even I get miffed by those cyclists. My advice is to be very careful when riding in the suburbs and wear a helmet! One advantage you have is that streets tend to be much wider so vehicles have lots of room to pass you, lots more room than it feels.

  2. It’s unfortunate that many people, both cyclists and drivers, don’t know the rules. How do you think we can improve on this? Besides encouraging people to read this blog? 😉

  3. Random sharing the road question – if a vehicle is signalling and waiting to turn right at an intersection, and a cyclist wants to go straight, what is the correct way for the cyclist to go forward? To go around the vehicle on the left side? Or straight through, and potentially get hit by the car? Which is the safe way and is it different than the right (legal) answer?

    1. I apologize for my tardy response. I thought I had responded in class on Wednesday. Anyway, as I explained in our conversation, the best way to pass a vehicle that is turning right is on the left but you may not have the time or the space to move over. Some drivers wait for cyclists to pass on the right before turning; others do not. But they are legally at fault if they cut you off.

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