Great post Richard…As someone that rides this road almost daily I can tell you lunch time on this road can be chaotic. I avoid the times between 11am and 1pm for this very reason. People racing to get back to work or worse, waze using it as a bi-pass when RT 2 is congested, I get passed by cars doing 60+ coming into Hanscomb, and if their late to get back to work at one of the offices along the Virginia they continue that speed to that very intersection which has a stop sign and right turn only. Very few people stop at the sign, instead turn hard and charge down the hill sometimes in the opposite lane where I have nearly had head-on collisions and I believe where Mr Himelfarb was struck. Then once they reach the airport runway they can be going 50-60 as they pass you as well, no police presence ever, its frighting.
That being said, I am one of a handful of maybe 1000 cyclists I’ve seen that actually stops at both signs, the one coming into Hanscomb and the one on Virginia. We demand more lanes, 3 ft laws, equal access etc but most cyclists I see don’t obey the traffic laws that are in place for all. In the past week I have seen:
6 riders blowing through a red light in Lexington
10+ riders blow through stop signs in Concord, Lincoln, and Lexington
10+ taking a right on red when sign clearly states no turn on red
Group rides taking up a full lane of traffic, talking, chatting, weaving not paying attention, while cars are waiting to pass, this maybe legal but it sure pisses the drivers off, so much so they seem to see how close they can get their cars without actually hitting them.
I am STRONG believer in punishment for drivers who intimidate, hurt or kill cyclists and sadly you never seem to see it. But maybe we own some of this by not OBEYING the laws and by law enforcement not citing bad cycling behavior. Yes it sucks to come to stop at a stop sign on a hill and un-clip or wait for a light to turn green, but we can’t have it both ways, expecting laws to be passed for drivers that support cyclists then seeing cyclist disregard the basic traffic laws the cars must comply with. I believe a campaign with enforcement to support proper cycling behavior would go a long way to get respect from drivers, caution around cyclists, and dare say support for wider roads with dedicated lanes?? It could lead to prosecution of drivers that kill or injure cyclists, which is now is laughable. Right now drivers are just plain POed watching cyclists continue to break the law, every-time I see a cyclist break the law I get POed! Because their selfish actions may effect me or my fellow law abiding riders in the future.
Lets be clear, you aren’t going to convince everyone, some people just hate cyclist because they are bitter angry people. I have been on roads all over the country obeying the law and still have had bottles thrown at me, brush backs, and my favorite stomp, on the accelerator diesel truck cloud. But getting convictions for these offenses will require us to clean up our own house and then our demands will have more merit and supporters in the future.