Streetalk May 27 2004

Do motorists have any respect for bicyclists?

John-Paul: No. Most of them are aggressive and seem to think they own the road. One time I was riding and had a collision with a motorist, and she just screamed and drove off, didn’t even stop to see if I was OK. Most people are honking, telling me to get off the street. It’s dangerous on a bike, but that sort of adds to the thrill of it. I like the adrenaline rush, and you definitely get that riding on your way to school. Definitely wakes you up in the morning.

Peter: If you ride safely, it is safe. Most people are not going to go out of their way to try to bump you off the road into a tree, as stated by one of our local radio stations. If you ride alternative streets with less traffic, you’re a smart cyclist. I never ride on Ponce, not when there’s North Avenue. At one point, Atlanta was a very, very dangerous place to ride, but now I see cyclists everywhere. It’s getting much better. Nobody has been flipping me off lately.

Shawn: Every other ride, there’s at least two instances I’ll have with a motorist almost sideswiping me. A recent article ranked bike-friendly cities, and Atlanta was the worst. [During] one of the group rides I was on last year a girl was killed. It’s not going to [cost] you more than a few seconds just to wait for a cyclist to pull over, rather than sideswiping them. They say, “Hey get off the road and get on the sidewalk.” Well, we’re not allowed to ride on the sidewalk. There’s a large amount of ignorance.-- Jeff Slate