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Friday, March 14, 2008

Sharing the road

Just in time for spring: West Newsmagazine, a direct-mailed community newspaper that serves west St. Louis County, has an article about sharing the road.

Cycling traffic is expected to increase on Clayton Road as the weather gets warmer. Because of the construction that has closed Interstate 64-U.S. 40 in west St. Louis County, some of the vehicle traffic has shifted to Clayton Road, increasing the possibility of conflicts between motorists and cyclists.

Most of the sources contacted for this story report few conflicts between cyclists and motorists in west St. Louis County, but one source took aim at cyclists.
However, one Wildwood resident, Kurt, who only wanted to use his first name, said he thinks cyclists assume that “Share the Road” signs are directed at automobile drivers, not cyclists, and that some bikes take advantage and take over the entire road, especially on the more rural roads in Wildwood.

“I know that it is very irritating when the bicyclists ride double or even triple,” Kurt said. “I have even seen some going four across the lane on a narrow road such as Wildhorse Creek, especially going west down toward Ossenfort Road, (Missouri Highway) 109 or Highway BA. It is terrible as a driver to turn a corner and then, unexpectedly, find yourself right behind a human being as vulnerable as can be on a bike. I can't even imagine the feeling of a person if they innocently hit the cyclist.”
There's a couple of interesting little stories tacked on to the end of the main piece. One is about a doctor who is battling back from injuries suffered in a cycling accidents, and the other is about efforts by the St. Louis Cycling Club to preserve a stone dedicated to William M. Butler to “preserve upon the highway the memory of an ardent cyclist.” The stone is located on Old Manchester Road near the Pond Road intersection in Wildwood.

Thanks to Belleville Area Bicycling and Eating Society member Thomas Carter for passing along the stories this way!

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