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Bikes on roads are safety issue, not rights

This is a follow-up letter to a recent [letter] of mine that was published in recent weeks. A response from a Mr. Rick Sanderson leads me to believe there is some misunderstanding about the issues.

I see there is no disagreement about the absurdity of banning gas golf carts, but when I mentioned that recreational cyclists should use our path system instead of the roadways, I was not comparing the two issues. I was merely giving the council an issue worth addressing, as opposed to the potential gas golf cart ban.

My right to use a safer product is not tied to cycling well below the minimum speed limit on major roadways. Its a safety issue.

Are you even biking to go to work, or to an appointment? No, you’re admittedly only practicing for a competition while others are just going on a bike ride.

People are having to constantly change lanes or pass the cyclists, a lot of the times over blind hills or around blind turns. Peachtree City has become the place to ride in Atlanta. People from around the metro-area come here and park their cars in front of one of our bike shops or City Hall to then ride on our roads. Look at the tags in front of the shops on the weekends. Few are from Fayette.

If your argument is that you only have a road cycle, I would suggest getting a mountain bike. I have one and its works great on the paths. And if you are a competitive cyclist and must use the road bike, I’m not sure how that is an argument for making our roads your practice facility. Your training doesn’t trump my safety.

While there may be expert cyclists on our roads, I’ve seen plenty in the pot-bellied division, hardly breaking 8 miles an hour on the verge of passing out on the parkway.

Just because you dress like Lance Armstrong doesn’t mean you’re ready to mix it up with vehicles weighing thousands of pounds. We do have minimum speeds limits that are rarely (and should be) enforced. Going too slow on our roadways is as dangerous as going too fast. Both are moving violations for a reason.

I ride my bike 3-4 times a week on the our path system and get a great workout. While it is annoying to go around the slower traffic on the paths, I choose to go around others on these paths instead of making others go around me on the roads.

Daniel Allen

Peachtree City, Ga.



unless you are going to an appointment or to work, etc? What about the people in cars out joy riding in their convertibles on the weekends? They clog up the roads for the working folks.

And you don't like folks from out of the area coming here to patronize the bike shops, etc?

In reality, what you don't like is the Georgia Law that enables bikes to use the roads. Why not work to get that changed instead of going off on a tangent? I don't see the point, but you need to address the real problem you have.

This is written by someone who rides a bike on the path system 4-5 times a week. Just so you get the perspective...although I may have to rethink my actions, as I do occasionally ride down my street to get to the paths. Sorry for all the delays I've caused you.

The same road usage restrictions should apply to cyclists as do golf carts. I have been stopped by a police officer for driving my golf cart on Crosstown which has a lower speed limit than Robinson Road which seems to be a cycling favorite. These restrictions are in place for everyone's safety. I have seen traffic backed up half a mile at 5:00 on Robinson because so many cars can't get around one cyclist. You may not have a problem riding on a busy road with frustrated drivers having to go 25 in a 50mph, but how do you think another driver would feel if you hit gravel and they ran over you? Their life would be ruined.

I would contend you don't need to be driving.

Cyclist's picture

It’s a never ending argument in which about 99% of the so-called facts they offer are made up, are urban legends or, stem from a complete lack of understanding of the Georgia Code or the uniform vehicle code which applies to all states. They rationalize their rants by discussing taxes, plates, insurance, the infamous blind curve scenario, and my favorite - holding up traffic. Their rants; however, are easily rebuffed since there is nothing to substantiate them.

Caution - The Surgeon General has determined that constant blogging is an addiction that can cause a sedentary life style.

PTC Observer's picture

We have it great in this country, you want to see difficult driving conditions? Go to the narrow roads in the highlands of Scotland, back ups for a mile or more.

I have never heard a driver there complain about it, it's a part of their culture.

Why don't we make it a part of ours? Share the road, it's the law.

Cyclist's picture

That pretty much sums it up.

Caution - The Surgeon General has determined that constant blogging is an addiction that can cause a sedentary life style.

Right. So because they do it in Scotland, logically we should do it here too. Maybe there's a reason we haven't adopted it; i.e. it's dangerous and perhaps even a little foolish?

Learn to drive and quit whining.

And where were you going that you could not use a path on CTP? I was wondering w/ all the discussion about tickets written & rev $'s up; Did the cart driver on the new sidewalk down 74 get a ticket or a warning?

You wrote: "My right to use a safer product is not tied to cycling well below the minimum speed limit on major roadways. Its a safety issue."
I've been curious how your gas cart is safer than an electric one.
Hope you understand I believe that you maintain your gas cart & it's all tuned, not smelly & the muffler is quiet but you seem to be in the minority of what I experience around the fueling stations. There really was a free market vote & 97% have voted for an electric cart. A 10 year phase out. A free market trade among the ones already registered forever & ever preserves their value & actually increases it. And allowing the rental purveyors that maintain the fleet to continue in operation is fair. Who would want to rent a loud smelly machine? But what makes a gas one more safe? Why do most golf courses either ban or not use them? Why can't you Share the Road w/ bicycles?

mudcat's picture

Yep, we have a real live cigar smoking cowboy riding his gas cart every day without a speed governor or much of a muffler. What makes him a cowboy and unsafe, you ask? How about the 4 foot steer horns attached to the front of the cart. If you are walking or running and he passes you, those horns come within a couple of inches and you don't see them until they are past you. Extremely dangerous. He goes too fast to get a cart number unless you are really looking out for him. Behind Spyglass Hill between 4 and 5 PM he usually makes an appearance.

and he is dangerous for sure. I'm going to get this dudes number. He put me into the bushes in the area you speak of.

I've seen him by the LDS Temple on the Parkway & by the MickyD's. Don't know how he gets thru that tunnel. Probably heading to the refueling station on Stevens Entry. He would be example #1 of not maint. the things or modifying them for macho purpose & why banning is not a bad plan.

We live in this great city that has 90 miles of paths. I understand that you must use the road in your neighborhood to get to the path just I do, but there is absolutely no reason to ride on any other roads. The city should look a this problem as a revenue maker. You bike on a road that has a speed limit of 30 mph or higher it’s a $50 fine. No ifs ands or buts about it. The city is always looking at ways to make money, well enforce the law of under the speed limit and start writing tickets. This is what we have paths for people! P.S. Yes I am a biker. I ride everyday and not once do I feel I have to ride on the PKY or Flat Creek Trail, etc…

If he is right you are nailed. You have admitted to riding on 40 MPH roads before! Robinson is 40MPH!

that some of these comments are HIGHlarious.

HerkFE's picture

Let me first say that I am a cyclist. I have a road bike that I ride on the roads in and around PTC and a mountain bike that I ride on the cart paths.
Mr. Allen, sir, you sound just like some of the whiney babies that I have had to deal with my entire 23 years that I have been in the military. Mostly those who chose to go into a boring career field like finance or supply. Before anyone jumps on me for that statement, I am not knocking their job...they all serve an important function but they chose that job. These people are the first to see someone who has a "cool job" getting a good deal and they run to the boss trying to get that "good deal" taken away. When they can't come up with a good argument they always throw the SAFETY flag. I promise you I could twist anything into a "safety" issue. In this case you choose to take it a step further and claim it's YOUR safety (as the automobile operator) in jeopardy. Give us all a break. If you think that changing lanes on the four lane Parkway, with as little traffic as is on that road, to go around a cyclists is dangerous to you then you, sir, need to go to the DMV immediately and surrender your license. Even on two lane Flat Creek there is never that much traffic that you can't slow down, assess the situation and move over to get around a cyclist. If you were to hit a cyclist with your car I promise YOU will be okay. Just say it, you don't like to be inconvenienced by someone who is out enjoying what they are doing. I don't like to be inconvenienced either when I am in my car trying to get somewhere and a cyclist gets in the way but in the big scheme of things it really doesn't take that much time to get around a cyclist.
As far as your argument about minimum speeds on our major roads, I have never seen a minimum speed posted except on an interstate where bicycles are banned anyway. Maybe there is a minimum speed and it's just not posted. Please enlighten us.

- If I was a PTC official I would enforce this law. No Bikers on any roadways in PTC with a speed limit of 30mph or higher.

c) Whenever a usable path has been provided, then the appropriate governing authority requires that bicycle riders use such path and not use those sections of the roadway so specified by such local governing authority. The governing authority may be petitioned to remove restrictions upon demonstration that the path has become inadequate due to capacity, maintenance, or other causes.

Cyclist's picture

What is HOHS?

Anyways GVC 40-6-294 reads slightly different, as you already know.

Caution - The Surgeon General has determined that constant blogging is an addiction that can cause a sedentary life style.

Bicycles were not mentioned in the original Constitution therefore; you have no rights except those granted or taken away by the states. Their having failed to mention said rights grant said regulation to the local county or failing that city, town or village. Hey, when are you going to tell him that PTC has CART (Multi-Use) Paths not Bike Paths? I am guessing the law he refs has to do w/ roads widened w/ marked Bike Lanes. Who wants bicyclist "bombing" at 30+ mph on the paths? Stay on the streets & parkways & highways, we are already dodging gas golf carts w/ steer horns, packs of voice controlled dogs, drinking, driving & smoking golfers, littering & reckless teens.

The city has a wish list for 'path maintenance' projects that totals somewhere north of $6.5 million. (See last week’s PTC council minutes)

It would appear that the 'inadequate maintenance' portion of the ordinance has already been met.

Non motorized vehicles should not be allowed on the roadways. Cell phones without handsfree operation should also be against the law for all ages. We have enough to contend with on the roadways without all of these distractions. Nothing you have to say to anyone on your phone is so important that it can't wait until you are safely off the road.

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