Case in point: While riding the bike path, along 152nd Avenue in Grand Haven, a vehicle made a right turn in front of me while I was going straight. I slammed on my brakes to avoid a collision. The driver then stopped to roll down his window and chastised me for not stopping, even though I had the right of way!
According to Michigan law, bicycles are legal vehicles and motorists must treat them like any other vehicle on the road. A general safety article published by the League of Michigan Bicyclists lists some common mistakes motorists make, including “turning right into the path of a bicyclist that is going straight."
Motorists should also be aware that bicycles lawfully have the right to ride on the road. Many bicyclists prefer to ride on the road even when a bike path is available — and that, uninformed motorist, is legal.
Although the bike path network is truly a wonderful thing, some bicyclists find the two-way traffic on the paths a little heavy for their type of riding and they deem it unsafe. Of course, there may be other reasons for a bicyclist to ride on the road and not the bike path, but the point is: bikes have the same legal rights as motor vehicles (except on highways).
Perhaps with a little education and some understanding, we can have a safe, fun bicycling season.
— Jack Bos, Grand Haven