GH not bike friendly

To the Editor: Re: “Bikers: employ common sense on area roads” (Our Views, June 16).
Jun 25, 2014

This (editorial) and especially the bicycle hate responses don't bode well for the tourist-friendly message I imagine Grand Haven would like to have. And not the message area Realtors would like the rest of us to know about Grand Haven.

My (and my brother's) experience with the Grand Haven trails are about the worst we've experienced. They are fine for pedestrian and slow family jaunts, but even then watch out for the blind driveways and how they blind cars from seeing you at intersections.

From the gist of this editorial and responses, I'd just steer clear of Grand Haven, both as a tourist spot and as a desirable place to live, unless your only mode of transit is an SUV.

Gary Skriba
Portland

 

Comments

zwesterhouse

One time while driving down Mercury Drive I saw a truck with young people in the truck bed yelling profanities at a bicyclist for not using the existing bike path. They were yelling at him to get his rear end off the street and use the bike path we paid taxes on for them to use. Now the cyclist was taking up the whole lane riding in the middle. It used to be in the Michigan Motor Vehicle Code a civil infraction for a bicycle to be on the road when a side walk or bike path is present. Don't know if they repealed it.

jlebrasseur

Starting with page 6, this booklet covers the laws, as well as most of the stuff people are complaining about. It is worth a quick read, it may help you see why cyclists traveling at more than 10mph avoid the bike paths and sidewalks at all costs.

https://www.dropbox.com/s/bk5u30...

uniondude

Holy Crap zw. How old are you..bikes have the same right as a car to be on the road,with some exception. They don't need to use sidewalks
or so called bike path if they don't want to. Share the road bikes are clean and green.

gordbzz231

So, why dont the bikers follow the rules of the road ?

jlebrasseur

Same reason many motorists don't follow the rules of the road.

Every night when I commute to work at the fountain, I dread riding along North Shore drive where I am constantly passed way too closely by cars. The best part? They are passing me over a double yellow.

Then, I come up to Pine and 3rd. Wait my turn at the stop sign, like all vehicles are supposed to. Oh, what's that? Just another driver pretending to not see me and refusing to yield the right of way when it is my turn to go. It has gotten so bad I have started cutting through the Pizza Hut parking lot and crossing Pine to only have to deal with one road and not two.

Then you get onto Coho Drive which is part of US Bike Route 35; a nationally designated 'bike highway'. Trucks hauling their boats refuse to stop and wait at the stop sign going to the boat ramp. They just pull out blindly, nearly hitting the law abiding cyclist.

Those who complain about cyclists should really try cycling themselves. At least twice; once on the 'bike' paths and sidewalks so they can see how incredibly dangerous and suicidal that is, and one on the roads so they can see that even if they are following every rule of the road, they are harassed, swerved at, have bottles thrown at them, or nearly run over by texting and in attentive drivers.

I have a car, but I choose to commute by bike because it is healthy, saves a TON of money in gas and maintenance, and I can oftentimes get somewhere in town faster than I can in a car.

Barry Soetoro

So the same guy that rides around on an alleged $8500 bike saves a TON of money in gas and maintenance? I guess I'm too slow in math to get that one.

buttegrubman@ho...

So you think that cars should not pass you? They should just sit behind you until they come upon a broken yellow line? A whole line of cars should just sit and wait behind some DB on a bike? That's reasonable! No you know why people hate you.

gordbzz231

actually, we had this discussion a week ago on another post the tribune posted, so i am stopping here, thanks

SCH39339

Agreed and in due respect to Mr Brasseur not another personal biking story of some nature every 10 days on Comments.

Highlander

Why don't motorists follow the rules?

jlebrasseur

This shows how well motorists follow the rules of the road around cyclists. What's the excuse for this? http://youtu.be/hx-WhGcNK6Y

deeg

If cyclists on the road followed the rules and rode in such a way as to be respectful of the cars maybe they would reciprocate. That has not been my experience. Cyclists are arrogant, defiant and rude. They don't want to share the roads they want to be treated as a special class. I for one would support legislation that requires them to stay to the far right and be able to maintain the posted speed limit or be ticketed for being on that road.

jlebrasseur

It's a speed LIMIT. It is the maximum speed you can travel on said road. There is no minimum with the exception of interstates. Some people seem to think the limit is really the minimum speed.

SCH39339

Sincerely and seriously, anyone doing 15 mph on M45, US31, Mercury Drive is traveling very dangerously for oneself and all others. Limit comment reads like a legal rebuttal, instead of safe for all.

ShiningLight

I've experienced both sides of this issue. There are aggressive drivers on bikes as well as in cars. But the most rude are the bikers that ride outside of the path and interrupt normal traffic flow, blaze through stop signs and disregard traffic to their own detriment. I always defer to bikers when I am in the car. When bikers are in the township riding fast it is understandable, but when the city limits are reached slowing down is appropriate for cars and bikes. There are closer quarters for us all in the city environment. I enjoy biking in Grand Haven but work hard at safety when I do. It wouldn't be difficult to cause an accident or be in one. I know car drivers get tickets in Grand Haven but have never seen a bicyclist getting one.

Vladtheimp

Maybe him and his brother aren't Grand Haven friendly (or Happy); he seems to disparage pedestrians and slow family jaunts, but claim the bike paths were not designed for superior bikers like him and his brother. If Realtors and the city relied on the opinion of prospective buyers/tourists about bike paths to sell this wonderful community, they would most likely starve.

Somehow I'm sure than him and his brother are bikers who ride side by side and block traffic lanes so they can biatch about the drivers who have to swerve to keep them from becoming road squirrels.

Interestedreader

Well Gary tell us about Portland!

Boycotter

Is Iraq bike friendly ??

Grand Haven Happy

deeg says it as it really is. The bikers are very arrogant and rude and nasty and like to ride 2/3/4 abreast and cause vehicles to often screech tires or swerve into the oncoming lane to avoid them. Then they flip you the finger and cuss loudly as if they own and control the roads. Jerks!

Maybe if enough of those rude bikers get hit they will finally get the message to stay far to the right as the law states. Also see so many of them in dark clothing at night and if the road is wet or under hanging tree branches, they are nearly impossible to see. I can't believe the number of times we've nearly hit one of those idiots!

We DO need the state law to mandate and be enforced that if there are constructed designated bike paths along side a roadway, bikers MUST use them or be fined. Bet it would pass overwhelmingly if put on the ballot.

If the bikers don't like the bike paths around here or can't be civil and NOT block the roadways, please go elsewhere! You WON'T be missed here! Therefore, not being missed assures you won't be biking here again anyway.

BTW, we are bikers also still as are our kids, grandkids, and now the great grandkids and we ALL always use the bike paths as that's what they are for and there's no excuse not to.

GH55

Your statements border on threats of violence. "Maybe if enough of those rude bikers get hit, they will finally get the message to stay far to the right as the law states!"

That sounds like an incitement to use your vehicle as a weapon.

257.660a Operation of bicycle upon highway or street; riding close to right-hand curb or edge of roadway; exceptions.
Sec. 660a.

A person operating a bicycle upon a highway or street at less than the existing speed of traffic shall ride as close as practicable to the right-hand curb or edge of the roadway except as follows:

(a) When overtaking and passing another bicycle or any other vehicle proceeding in the same direction.

(b) When preparing to turn left.

(c) When conditions make the right-hand edge of the roadway unsafe or reasonably unusable by bicycles, including, but not limited to, surface hazards, an uneven roadway surface, drain openings, debris, parked or moving vehicles or bicycles, pedestrians, animals, or other obstacles, or if the lane is too narrow to permit a vehicle to safely overtake and pass a bicycle.

(d) When operating a bicycle in a lane in which the traffic is turning right but the individual intends to go straight through the intersection.

(e) When operating a bicycle upon a 1-way highway or street that has 2 or more marked traffic lanes, in which case the individual may ride as near the left-hand curb or edge of that roadway as practicable.

Unfortunately, there are NO "Designated Bike Paths" in this area. They would be identified with the Blue Bike Lane sign if there was.

What has been pawned off on the tax payers of this area are sidewalks! Check local ordinances: they are referred to as multiple use paths. In point of fact, in Grand Haven Township for example, if you are riding a bike on the "bike path", you have absolutely no right of way! You have to yield to all other users, including the drivers crossing the "bike path"! How can it be a "bike path" if the bikers have no right of way while riding on it?
Most of the points stated here still adhere to the fallacy that bikes are merely toys. They also serve as excellent alternatives to the addiction we have to gas powered cars.
For getting around town, it is usually faster, more convenient, less hassle trying to find a parking space, better for you, and kind of fun!
As an example, at about noon tomorrow, ride down to the State Park and try and get in to go to the beach for the afternoon! Which mode of transport will get you to your beach towel the quickest and easiest. In fact if you go in on your bike, you don't need to pay!

Grand Haven Happy

boycotter, camel friendly but you have to watch for IED's and flying bullets!

uniondude

Heres a good read for you GHHappy and all the rest of you against bikes on the road http://www.lmb.org/index.php?opt.... Hey jlebrasseur love your point of view. If I wanted to take an easy 2 mile a hour ride I may try the so called bike path, but I ride for the fitness part of it and 15-20 MPH don't cut it on the sidewalk or bike path. Besides if you tried that the pedestrians would want the bikes on the road. I actually live south of you and haven't had a hard time with cars and bikes. Guess I'll have to start riding to GH to see what all the talk is about. See y'all on the ROAD ;)

nextdoor

When you choose to live in grand haven you choose to deal with traffic and tourist.

Kenny

My only complaint about bikers is not obeying stop signs like cars or moving out of the way. I think bikers have the right idea. But, I don't want to hit them when I think they are going to stop at a stop sign and they keep pedaling through.

hautecouture

Let me first say that I am not a speed-professional-biker who has a super fancy bike and super fancy biking gear... I just bike for fun and biking is NOT my main means of transportation. That being said... it does bug me to some extent when I see bikers on the road not respecting others on the road. I do quite often see bikers with their signals, and little side mirrors being especially cautious, but just as often I do not.

I see many (sometimes even kids) without helmets riding in the middle of the road, crossing without looking in the middle of a road (not even at a crossway), and then there are the bikers who are quite a far distance into the road that you want to pass but you can't because there's traffic in the other lane . . . and the bikers can see you're there going 10-15 MPH on a 35-40 mph road because you can't drive on your own side of the road. I live in SL and we have many nice bikepaths here so I don't understand WHY so many choose to ride in the road. I'm not talking about those who must bike to work and must ride on roads where there is no path, but those who hog the whole road and clog up traffic. Not to mention the amount of people I see who don't use signals are look back before turning. I think it's extremely dangerous. I do understand the argument of "blind spots" on the sidewalk and people pulling out of driveways, but I still personally think that riding in the road (in most cases) is more unsafe.

jlebrasseur

Here is some info about commuting by bicycle, as well as the laws relevant to cyclists and motorists sharing the road, even if you hate cyclists, please browse over it to see why we do some of the stuff we do on the road. Yes, there are bad apples out there, but there are just as many bad motorists...

https://www.dropbox.com/s/dyvxxi...

Rules of the road:

https://www.dropbox.com/s/abasxn...

https://www.dropbox.com/s/l2idhh...

The Federally designated bike route overview in Michigan: https://www.dropbox.com/s/tgrhjq...

And the Grand Haven portion of US Bike Route 35: https://www.dropbox.com/s/8zhcs9...

This covers the rules of the road even better. Page 7 covers most of what people are complaining about: https://www.dropbox.com/s/bk5u30...

willa

If bikers have the same road rights as vehicles, are they required to be licensed, pay for upkeep or carry insurance? I know this sounds a little extreme, but if a cyclist is involved in a road accident would the automobile owner bear full responsibility? I do admire cyclists for there healthy lifestyle. But, it is difficult to safely navigate around them at times. There are many narrow winding roads in my area where passing is difficult. The flow of traffic is slowed considerably when bikers are present.

Just a Thought

The only argument from the cyclists that I have never understood is, if they use the "bike paths" that motorists come flying out of their driveways, across the path and endanger anyone on said path, "so we ride in the road". Ummmm .... these same vehicles come down the same driveway and right into said road, still crossing into a cyclists path and endangering them. :/ hmmm

truthhurts

"From the gist of this editorial and responses, I'd just steer clear of Grand Haven, both as a tourist spot and as a desirable place to live"

-good choice, please stay away. Bikers have no respect.

Grand Haven Happy

Yes, without question for a required written test and a road test to pass to get a "biking on public roads" license and the required to be attached license plate and being required to carry the same insurance and proof of insurance along with the biking license as a vehicle or motorcycle. Insurance for liability, medical, no fault collision coverage, and all if they are ever ridden on the public roads anywhere in the State of Michigan and enforce it! A yearly tax should also be levied to pay their share of the road maintenance as there's no free lunch just because it's a bike. I feel it should include a yearly inspection of the bike as for required reflectors, lights, brake lights, turn signals, tire tread depth, and road worthiness, etc before getting each years license. The same fines apply as for a vehicle if the bike is operated on public roads for weaving, not coming to a full stop, imparing traffic flow without yielding and allowing traffic to pass, without not having safety requirements in proper working order, not signalling for turns before turning, and having the current yearly inspection tag. Maybe requiring a State of Michigan title also for any bike used on public like motorcycles and street legal motorized trail bike and a DNR sticker if used for off roading/trail riding. Sure would make bikers be responsible finally or we'll see them in the court system flexing their wallets for $$$ and begging to keep their license.

Want to ride a bike on a public road or off road, live with the same requirements and licenses as the others using the public roads or DNR regulated trails and public lands/forests or stay off and use the designated bike trails not on public roads as that's why they are there!

What's gravy for the goose is gravy for the gander too!

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