LETTER: Drivers and pedestrians need to adapt to E-bikes

From reader Howie Ross

The other day while driving my car, I approached a stop sign and did my full stop. Coming up the hill of the cross street was a bike rider working hard, pedaling up the hill, who approached the same intersection I was at. The bike rider didn’t have a stop as it was a three-way. I went through the intersection, the rider yelled at me, obviously feeling that I cut them off (there was plenty of room and it was not even close).

On reflection, I was wrong! I always give the right of way to bicycles and pedestrians! I misjudged the speed the cyclist was traveling, and although it was not a dangerous situation, I could definitely understand the anxiety of the biker. I too ride a bike, just not an e-bike.

While on my regular pedal bike, I’ve had e-bikes go flying past me, seemingly out of nowhere. It’s happened while walking on the path in Lakeside, as well.

E-bikes are a new reality and are here to stay. We all, cyclists, car drivers and pedestrians, must get in tune with this new element of transportation. These bikes are fast — way faster than traditional bikes and we all have to adapt to this radical change in how we interact with each other.

The bike rider did absolutely nothing wrong; and it’s debatable whether I actually did something wrong, other than cause anxiety. It did, however, bring me to this point and to the writing of this letter. We have to co-exist with bikes and cars. There will be adjustments to make for all of us.

My point is: everyone needs to pay more attention while operating any vehicle and be ready for this new wave of speed as well as increased bike and vehicle traffic so we all stay safe.

Howie Ross

Nelson

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