An end of season thank you to Courteous Road Users, and a few reminders for the rest
by Beth Brainard
Executive Director of NPC
As another season draws to and end, I would like to pay special tribute to the people who used our roadways without high drama.
Thank you to all the motorists, bicyclists, walkers, and joggers who obey the laws; and when they don’t know the laws use common sense; and when all else fails have enough empathy for their fellow human beings to adjust their behavior and accept that people use the roads differently.
You are to be commended for contributing to the safety and well being of the residents of Greater Naples and for doing your part to make Florida’s roadways safer.
I hope you have a great summer and come back next year.
To the minority of roadway users who do not possess these traits, I offer a few reminders:
- You are obligated to obey Florida traffic laws regardless of whether you ride on the street, on a multi-use pathway, or on a sidewalk. If you are not aware of the laws, please go here for an easy to-understand synopsis www.naplespathways.org/helpful-links.
- Being on holiday does not give you the right to ride like you are in La-La Land. Motorists and pedestrians cannot read your mind so when you haphazardly zig and zag out of traffic, stop or change lanes without warning, or ride against traffic you are endangering everyone on the roadway.
- Arrogance, crude language and gestures, and blatant disregard of the laws are NOT the hallmarks of responsible peloton riders. Riding in a peloton does not make you immune to the laws or common courtesies. It also doesn’t make you invisible – we see you and we’d prefer that you straighten up.
- You do not own the road – pure and simple.
- You, too, are obligated to obey traffic laws, including those that pertain to how you operate your vehicle in the presence of bicyclists and pedestrians. Find an easy-to-read synopsis of the laws here www.naplespathways.org/helpful-links.
- When you are following a bicycle on the road, treat it as just another slow moving vehicle, like a landscaper’s trailer, and comport yourself accordingly. In other words, contain the road rage, don’t honk your horn, and remember the law requires you to allow at least three feet between your car mirror and the bike when you pass it.
- As an FYI, bicyclists also pay road taxes.
TO WALKERS AND JOGGERS:
- There are laws on the books that pertain to walking and jogging. An easy-to-read synopsis can be found at www.naplespathways.org/helpful-links.
- Getting along on the sidewalk requires use of common sense and common courtesy as well as knowledge of the law. Please move over enough to allow oncoming pedestrians, baby carriages, and yes, bicycles, to pass you.
- When you wear earbuds and listen to music, your spirit may be elevated but your feet are still on the ground. If you aren’t paying attention to your surroundings, you can’t be indignant when a bicyclist who has legitimately signaled you passes or when a car honks to get your attention instead of running into you. “Distracted pedestrians” are a growing statistic in traffic crashes and fatalities.
Beth Brainard is the Executive Director of NaplesPathways Coalition (NPC), a non-profit organization that works to create safe, bikeable, walkable communities in Collier County.
For more information or to join, visit the NPC web site at www.naplespathways.org or contact Beth directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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