Why do cyclists ride on busy streets?

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by Anonymous

It never ceases to amaze me when I see someone on a bike riding down a busy car-packed street, hugging the line of parked cars. It’s even more surprising to see when there’s a neighborhood greenway a block away. Why would you want to ride next to a bunch of cars anyway? One of the best things about Portland is being able to get away from them in the beautiful, tree-lined streets of our neighborhoods.

It’s also just plain inconsiderate to the people who, for one reason or another, need to use a car that day. On a street like Chavez, Hawthorne or Division, where there’s no bike lane, you’re forcing car traffic to move at your pace on streets with double yellow lines painted down the middle. Of course there are times when we all need to ride on a busy street for a block or two. No one is saying we can’t all use the same roads. I just wish people would recognize that there are ways we can all do better at this.

Sharing the road also means using the appropriate route for your vehicle. I know I don’t like it when cars are cruising the greenways, using them as cut-throughs to avoid traffic. Why are you making it worse by using the routes that are full of cars? It’s just slowing other people down and pissing them off. I know there are plenty of cyclists who relish in this, but I think most people just want to get where they’re going.

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