Kendall County Opinion

Letter: Do cyclists a favor

keyboard, letter to the editor

To the Editor:

Our scenic roads west of Route 47 between Yorkville and Morris traverse moraine and Illinois River valley hills and curves. During much of the year, bicyclists can be encountered. Light traffic permits passing, but only if one can see clearly no traffic is approaching. Few roads are wide enough to pass a cyclist not on the berm. And rises and falls of the roads limit visibility.

My worry is coming upon a cyclist slowly pedaling down a hill whom I could not see at the top of the hill – he at 5 mph and I at 60 mph: I kill him unless I’m lucky enough to get around him. Two or more abreast? Stopped? Cyclists are akin to randomly scattered mid-road, almost stationary obstacles. Interstates forbid relative speed differences greater than 20 or so mph. Bikes: up to 55 plus 10 over? And one sees miles ahead on interstates.

Cyclists have won the fight for road right of way: red lights, stop signs, crossing lanes. All is allowed and can’t be reported as they are unregistered. Riders look down at the pavement and pant unless running stop signs – I was run into twice within about three blocks by cyclists not seeing my Volkswagen. They are essentially mechanized jaywalkers.

To save their lives, drivers must sacrifice their time. We must keep speeds below 35 mph on our 55 mph rural roads if we see or suspect bicyclists are about, as we do 20 mph past schools when children are present. The roads used by cyclists should be so posted and cyclists should report speeding motorists. Cameras?

If motorists are in a hurry, they can use the main roads. Let’s do cyclists a favor.

Alphonse I. Johnson