Philadelphians React To The New Bike Law

By Diana Rocco

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Who has the right of way? And can’t we all get along? These are questions drivers and cyclists have been asking for as long as they’ve been sharing the road.

“The messengers cause a lot of headaches. They run people over and keep going; they knock people over and don’t care,” says David Bonner.

On the flip side, CBS3 asked cyclists if they think that drivers have been considerate and respectful—for the most part.

“No, I don’t,” says bicyclist Isaac Finkelstein.

“They’re just like, ‘Move out the way!’ They just don’t care,” adds Chris Malloy.

But a new law that went into effect in Pennsylvania this week is trying to change the age old feuding that takes place on the roads. Cars must give bikes at least four feet on all sides when passing and must yield to cyclists when making turns. Also, drivers can now legally cross the center line to go around a bike.

Jenny Robinson from AAA says it gives each side some guidelines. “We all need to coexist and give each other that room, and the law is helping to make that clearer,” she says.

And after two cyclist fatalities in the past year, bike clubs are in favor too.

“It’s not about the police coming out with a yard stick, but it does help clarify responsibility should there be a crash,” says Nicholas Mirra, from the Bike Coalition of Philadelphia, who also says that 20 states now have bike laws on the books to protect riders.

And Mirra adds that respect should be mutual.

“Bicyclists have a responsibility of being courteous to pedestrians, not blowing through red lights, and drivers have a responsibly to look out for more vulnerable road users.”

Still, some say common sense and courtesy shouldn’t be legislated, and that the new law will be difficult to enforce.

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More from Regional Affairs Council - August 2011

One Comment

  1. sherry says:

    why don’t bikes have to have a tag and reg..just like cars..maybe they will
    respect the cars to! they come from everywhere…they should have to follow the
    lights..turns ect ect the same as cars..!

  2. So. Philly Walt says:

    I’m with you Barb. Typical “Treehuggers”

  3. Karl says:

    The bicyclists have a long way to go in philadelphia with regard to obeying the traffic laws. Currently they are very rude and disrepectful to pedestrians in Fairmount park. On the city streets, they disregard stop signs and red lights, traffic patterns etc. They then whine and moan about not being respected on the road. Cops need to fine them for not having lights at night and running red lights.

  4. Sarah says:

    In the State of Pennsylvania there is already a law that defines the line.
    And it goes like this: any vehicle motorize or NOT when in the street, MUST OBEY ALL TRAFFICE LAWS. This includes given right of way to pedestrians, it does not say if they are on the sidewalk, crossing the street or walking along the trails of Fairmont Park. It Says right of way is given to PEDESTRIANS.

  5. SciFi Forever says:

    They also have no respect for pedestrians on the sidewalks. I’ve been knocked over, cursed at, and banged up pretty good by one of the idiots rudely riding on the sidewalks.

  6. Barb Rivera says:

    Bicyclists have no respect for drivers. If they share the road then that them share in the cost to upkeep the roads. Make them register and insure their bicycle.

Comments are closed.

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