Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Steve Magas: Why "Share the Road" Stinks

If you read nothing else on cyclist's rights, read this essay.

From Steve's essay:

"...“Sharing” is not a concept mandated by law, but is an altruistic concept that relies upon the goodwill of the Share-or to give up a little bit of that which he owns to the Share-ee.  No law says that the motorist owns the road and the cyclist may borrow it sometimes, IF the motorist feels like sharing.  Yet, motorists frequently act like my two year old son did almost 20 years ago – he got in the face of the proposed “Share-ee” and said, MINE!”...But this is not the law.  Rather, the law is that a PERSON wishing to use the public roads has the right to CHOOSE the vehicle on, or in, which to travel. A bicycle and a car and a truck and a bus and an Amish buggy and a large piece of farm equipment are equally valid, legitimate and lawful choices as vehicles. When it comes to the right to be on the roadway, a person who chooses to ride a bicycle on the roadway has exactly and precisely the same quantity or bundle of rights as one who chooses to operate a car..."


Steve A said...

It would be easier if this were also taught to all road users, especially law enforcement.

limom said...

I agree with the author but I think the "mine's is bigger" attitude still prevails whether it be bike and car or car and car.
"Go ahead pal, just try and take it from me."
If you know what I mean.

John Romeo Alpha said...

When I'm riding my bike I always read the signs, particularly the diamond warning signs, as applying equally to myself as to car drivers. So the signs are telling the car drivers to share the road with bikes, and the bike drivers to share the road with cars. Although by that logic the ones which just have a bicycle pictured would seem to be telling cyclists to share the road with cyclists. I might ask a law enforcement person about that next time I get the chance.

Bikelawyer said...

THANKS for noticing! There has been a large, mostly positive, response to this which reflects, I think, a large mostly positive expression of the love of cycling and frustration we ALL have with motorists from time to time. Keep Up The Great Work!

Steve Magas