Crosswalks aren’t a free-for-all

Crosswalks are there for the protection of pedestrians, not as a convenience for a cyclist to stop traffic while they ride across the road.

To the Editor,

Re: Faulty crosswalk switch repaired following bike collision, Sept. 22.

Did I miss something? Have the rules of the road changed? When I was a child learning to ride my bicycle, it was impressed upon me that the rules of the road apply the same as if I were driving a car. Stop at the stop signs, yield the right of way, signal my intended lane changes and yes, stop for pedestrians.

These days, I see cyclists blowing through stop signs, cutting across traffic lanes without signalling and holding up the flow of traffic by not giving room for cars to pass and generally being reckless, which is scary to say the least.

So, about the crosswalk. It is called a crosswalk not a ‘crossride.’ Crosswalks are there for the protection of pedestrians, not as a convenience for a cyclist to stop traffic while they ride across the road.

Had the cyclist been taught properly, he would have dismounted from his bicycle, rendering himself a pedestrian. Then, crossing at a walking pace, he would not have slammed into the side of a car. Remember that a cyclist is usually travelling at four times the speed of a pedestrian, which gives a driver and/or a cyclist very little, if any chance to respond.

Should a cyclist wish to use a crosswalk (with or without lights) the operative word is ‘walk.’

Alan MacKinnonNanaimo