|Share The Road|
State Suggests More Space for Cyclists
It may interest readers to know that the #1 complaint that motorists make to the VBPC about bicyclists is that they don’t ride single ?le to allow cars to pass. Reports of bicyclists riding three or four abreast are commonplace. The Northeast Kingdom and Chittenden County are areas where this behavior is a particular concern. On the ?ip side, the #1 complaint that bicyclists report to the VBPC is the lack of adequate shoulders. A close second is the complaint that motorists drive aggressively, passing the cyclist too closely and too quickly while sometimes yelling or throwing things. Relations between bicyclists and motorists will improve when all roadway users adopt the respectful, courteous “Share the Road” mindset.
Riding Two Abreast: Is It Legal?
According to VT statute: “Persons riding two abreast shall not impede the normal and reasonable movement of traffic...” This law means that two bicyclists riding side-by-side must switch to single file if their activity is interfering with the customary flow of motor vehicles. Bicyclists who don’t single up appropriately due to ignorance, thoughtlessness, or arrogance are giving all bicyclists in Vermont a black eye. Please do your part to establish good rapport with other roadway users by observing the law and by encouraging your fellow riders to do the same. Help the Coalition to eliminate the number one complaint lodged against bicyclists in Vermont.
Bicyclists: Yield to Horses!
A horse can become frightened when a bicyclist passes the horse without warning. Fear can cause a horse to bolt, causing harm to the rider, the horse, property, and/or others in the path. Cyclists should speak to the horseback rider before attempting to pass to avoid startling the rider or the horse. The law requires that all bicyclists, pedestrians, and motorists yield to horses.
Share The Road Media Campaign
We're starting to work on a project for radio, TV, and print Public Service Announcements about Sharing the Road. CLICK HERE or scroll down for more info! We want your input & assistance on this project!
Share the Road Principles
Bicyclists and pedestrians have a legal right to be on Vermont's public right of ways (also known as roads). Here's some tips on Sharing the Road for any mode:
BICYCLISTS have the responsibility to obey traffic laws and ride safely on the right with other traffic. For safe bicycling tips, please see our “share the road” brochure. By law, bicycles have the rights and responsibilities of vehicles.
WALKERS and RUNNERS should should face traffic (on the left). Where crosswalks are provided, pedestrians should use crosswalks. Drivers are legally required to exercise due care, even if a walker or jogger is not obeying the law.
Roads are for public travel including bicycling and walking -- not just for cars!
For a summary of the laws pertaining to bicyclists, pedestrians, and motorists all sharing the road -- please see our resource section.
As of Spring 2005, this campaign is actively in the works. Our Share the Road Committee (including board members, members at large, and other interested citizens) is working to define the key messages of the campaign, crafting radio scripts, altering some TV footage for new improved PSAs, and laying ground for an expanded campaign through media, bike shops, our outreach tent at big rides. There's several ways that volunteers can get involved; that could mean you!
The exciting news is that we received a $60,000 Transportation Enhancements grant for this program, which provides the core funding. Additional match (in-kind, cash, volunteer time) is needed! We're going to take it as far as we can with these funds (media ads are expensive), and hope that the new Federal Transportation Bill includes some dedicated funds for bicycle/pedestrian safety in the future. For more about possible federal funding changes, see America Bikes.
Here are 5 specific ways you could help!
1. Write a Letter to the Editor
2. Post a Flyer at the General Store or other local bulletin board
3. Display a Share the Road sticker on your car.
4. Help with an outreach table at an event
VT Bike/Ped will provide you with:
5. Go on Talk Radio (having prepped yourself on our talking points)
Are you cool as a cucumber and ready to take some heat? Maybe you're a good spokesperson to go on a talk radio show sometime in May, to promote Sharing the Road. We'll provide the list of talking points - and a dry run or two with your fellow 'talkies' asking friendly questions.
We have received a $60,000 VTrans 2005 Transportation Enhancements grant for this project. This provides the core of our funding, but additional match (in-kind, cash, volunteer time) is needed!
With broad input and support from our membership, bike clubs, regional planning commissions, and beyond... below is the substance of our grant application (some are large files). Please let us know if you have further thoughts, ideas for funding, suggestions for partnerships, or contacts at local media outlets.
If you would like to be part of our "Share the Road" team please contact Nancy Schulz, the committee chair. The team usually meets in Burlington, with call-in speaker phone available for those in other areas.
Transportation Enhancement Grant Application
** These two documents with small files to download are the "meat" of the application. Sorry that some of the other files are so big. I can't make them smaller very easily.
(Also included in the application but not included here were copies of relevant pages of state/regional plans supporting Share the Road and education. Email addresses removed in comments pages to prevent spam.)
Are you a bicyclist who has been harassed by motorists?
The Vermont Bicycle & Pedestrian Coalition is working on a system to reach motorists who threaten or harass bicyclists. Based on a model from Missouri, we would send a politely-worded letter in response to reported incidents, informing the driver that bicyclists do have a legal right to the road. We are currently seeking input on our draft letter (see below), and will subsequently work with state agencies to see if we can arrange to get addresses based on license plate numbers.
DRAFT - Letter to Harassing Motorists - we are working on compiling input and taking this to the state/local officials to make this happen.
The Better World Club offers bicycle-only and car-and-bike membership, including insurance and free roadside assistance. Better World Club offers VBPC members a 10% discount on new membership. The VBPC receives a donation for every new sign-up.