A significant fraction of the cost of operating a motor vehicle is paying taxes that go to funding roads. Cyclists pay no similar tax.
But let's skip that and go to your next statements. For simplicity I'll concede your argument has merit.
Yes they do have the privilege to use the roads in a safe manner that does not impede the safe use of the roads by others who make different technological choices in how to best use the MOTORWAYS for themselves.The law disagrees with you. In most, if not all states, bicycles have full rights to the road as their motorized counterparts, and in most (if not all cases) have full rights to use the lane they are in.
Cyclists pay taxes too and have the right to use the roads safely.
So, people on bikes should not be able to block traffic lanes. I understand perfectly, from both sides, the hazards of riding a bike on a narrow lane with some ass driver popping his door out just as the bike rider is coming up, with a car coming up behind him. Due caution by all parties is always essential, on the part of the idiot opening the door (he could have looked first - I do - and waited) and the biker has to be aware so he can have the time to choose to swerve into a traffic lane to avoid hitting the door or he can brake, and the car driver who sees the parked car and the bike and has to be aware of what may happen, so he too can swerve or brake...with his additional hazard of whatever is happening in the lane to his left.
But, people on bicycles should not presume because they have the privilege to share the road (all operation of vehicles on public roads is a privelege, not a right) that they can abuse that by pedalling in the center of a lane at 15 mph and thus blocking a car from travelling a posted faster limit. That's just abusive. In a narrow lane situation, caution is required. If it's possible for the biker to shift right and thus allow the faster vehicle to pass, he's obligated by courtesy, in states where it's not law, to get the hell out of the way.
Hey, I've got no issues at all against anyone riding a bicycle. If I lived just a few miles closer to work, I'd be pedalling, too. Great exercise. But when I did ride a bike, I did make sure I wasn't obnoxious, and I made damn sure I didn't offer any motorist a free opportunity to smear my butt over the asphalt.
Oh, I hope you didn't get that impression. I'm impressed as hell at someone who can pedal at 20 mph or more. And almost all serious bikers are courteous and safety conscious. They get the "skid marks", after all.On this point, I agree. However, please do not demonize all cyclists based on the actions of Critical Mass.
[qoute]Yes to following the rules of the road. However, in most states, biccyles are not required to keep as close to the right of the road as possible. Cycles have full rights to use the lane they are travelling in. Bicyclists have to be very wary of the door zone and many times will be a few feet into the road more than you think they should be because they have to worry about the potential of a door swinging open and knocking them onto the pavement.[/quote]
The law should require them to move to allow faster traffic to pass, just as is done on the freeway.
Don't forget the chance of the jackass pulling out from the parking lot halfway into the lane, cutting off the invisible biker. (BTW, I wrecked a perfectly good Celica when someone pulled that trick across a three lane street to stop blocking both lanes in front of me. There's no accounting for what truly stupid - on in this case a moron seeking an insurance payout - will do.)
ANYONE on the road is subject to unexpected hazards. I contend the biker so overly concerned with the infrequent but real hazard of doors flying open is ignorin the greater risks with the more realistic and likely hazard of getting tagged by the front bumper of an unobserant driver. He's on the road, he has to be realistic and make reasonable compromises. It's not realistic nor reasonable to block the right lane if the opposite lane has oncoming traffic that prevents drivers in his flow from moving around him.
Well, we can go back and forth all day on this one. I just saying the biker has to excercise judgement based on both safety and courtesy so that his use of the road does not unreasonably infringe on the freedom of others to use the same road with their vehicle of choice. That's all I ask from anyone.