Two deaths of cyclists this summer has readers weighing in on whether riding a bicycle is safe on the city, suburban and rural roads of Maryland.
Beloved Severn School Latin teacher Thomas Heslin was killed when his bicycle collided with a dump truck on Baltimore Annapolis Boulevard in July. Police said Heslin, 57, failed to stop at a stop sign.
In August, cyclist Patricia Cunningham, 50, from Annapolis, collided with a minivan in Davidsonville. Police said the cause of that crash was driver error. Cunningham was a teacher and coach at Annapolis High School.
Many Patch readers said it is difficult for cyclists and motorists to coexist, especially on the many roads with no designated bike lanes.
In an effort to help with cyclist safety, the Anne Arundel County Police Department is hosting a ride along the Baltimore and Annapolis Trail with certified Anne Arundel County Police Bike Patrol Officers on Sept. 29.
Do you think it’s safe to ride your bicycle on the roads in Edgewater and Davidsonville? Tell us in comments.
Here's what some Patch readers around Maryland had to say on the issue:
- “As a rider I am frequently beeped at, yelled at, and have on 3 occasions been driven off the road. …. On the driver side I have seen too many times, bikers riding 2, 3, and even 4 abreast on busy roads, not falling in line when cars approach, and most do not have mirrors to alert them to oncoming cars, so they look back and end up swerving into a cars path. I would like to see stricter enforcement of laws involving bike accidents, along with better education for riders so all can be safe.” - woodbine5
- “Without designated bike lanes or roads with broad shoulders, it will never be entirely safe for either motorist or cyclist on the road,” - Nancy Myers
- “It seems that no one is educating bicyclists about road laws, as I see bikes traveling AGAINST the flow of traffic, on the wrong side of the road, almost daily! I also notice bikes running stopsigns/traffic lights, and after sunset and before sunrise, operating on the roadways WITHOUT FUNCTIONING HEAD AND TAIL LIGHTS, thereby breaking the LAW, and presenting danger to themselves and others!” - Robert Curry
- “These ‘country’ roads are now very busy and dangerous during these peak times. I think it is tragic that cyclists are dying, something definitely needs to be done.” Jen Leipold
- “I bet lots of drivers don't realize that it's much safer for a cyclist to drive near the center of the lane. I generally ride in the center until I am sure the vehicle behind me has seen and reacted to my presence. Then I move toward the white line to make it easier to pass. Sharing the road means sharing it. It doesn't mean that cyclists get out of the way of cars.” - jkbeuchel
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