Everyone’s roads

All of us need to do our part to ride and drive responsibly

This week we’re celebrating life on two wheels with our popular annual Bike Issue. Speaking of which, we see a lot of that around these parts these days. Chico is indeed a biking town.

And because bicycles are all around us, we want to remind both riders and those who share the road with them to be mindful of each other. At CN&R’s headquarters at the entryway to downtown, we see all sorts of crazy and irresponsible riding and driving. For example, it’s not uncommon to see riders headed the wrong way on one-way Second Street—not to mention the other streets in the city center. We also see them riding on downtown sidewalks and blowing through stop signs. All of these things are dangerous and illegal.

We also see vehicles driving much too close to bicyclists, another dangerous and illegal move. In fact, in California, driving within 3 feet of a cyclist is a citable offense thanks to a new law designed to curb vehicle-vs.-bicycle collisions. The penalty for doing so is $233; $959 when it results in an accident with an injury. The key thing for drivers to remember is that they should pass bicycles only when they can do so safely.

And while bicyclists have the same rights and responsibilities as motorists, riders should use common sense, like avoiding portions of town unfriendly to bikes. Many local thoroughfares remain unsuitable for cyclists, but we do have an excellent series of bike trails and bike lanes to help riders get around town in one piece.

The point is, folks using both methods of transportation need to get along. In short, the streets belong to everyone, so all of us need to do our part to share them responsibility and safely.