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The Valley Reporter
P.O. Box 119
Waitsfield, VT 05673
802-496-3928
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Clarifying a few statements

06/05/2008

To the Editor:
We thank The Valley Reporter for the great coverage of the recent Valley Walk & Roll Festival as well as the recent editorial and Share the Road article. We also thank Reginald Bragg for the recent In My View and agree, "Bicyclists need to take responsibility." Bicyclists need to follow the rules of the road and these rules should be enforced for bicyclists as they are for motorists.  And to the resident who writes "From my Bicycle Seat," we agree that the condition of Route 100 is challenging for bicyclists.

Let us take the opportunity to clarify a few statements. What does the bicyclist pay? Since most bicyclists over 16 are also motorists, bicyclists pay all the same taxes, registration and insurance, albeit they pay a bit less gas tax as they use less gas when traveling by bicycle. And, bicycles produce far less wear and tear of the roadways when compared to a car. These bicyclists have already passed a written test indicating knowledge of highway rules and regulations as most have a driver's license.

Regarding potholes, it is safer to ride steadily and predictably in a straight line than to be stopping or darting in and out around obstacles trying to stay as far right as possible. Motorists should reduce speed for these bicycles as slow moving vehicles -- not unlike  the motorist would slow when coming behind Hadley Gaylord or David Hartshorn on a farm tractor -- and pass when it is safe to do so.

We encourage all bicyclists to follow the rules of the road. Bicyclists riding erratically are the exception -- although highly visible -- and are disturbing to other bicyclists as well as motorists. For anyone interested in learning more or learning how to ride a bicycle more comfortably in traffic, please sign up for the upcoming Bike Ed courses sponsored by MRVHC (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. ).

Sue Frechette, MRVHC, Inc.

Dave Cain, Valley Moves

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