Posts Tagged ‘bike lanes’

Scary: My annual Route 1 ride

July 16, 2009

If I were king of the world, I would do away with the bike lane on Route 1.

In its place I would construct an actual bike lane – not one with gravel as its base – away from traffic so bicyclists and pedestrians could safely get from one point to another in the Lewes, Rehoboth Beach and Dewey Beach areas.

As an avid cyclist, I do everything in my power to stay off Route 1 as much as possible. It’s not safe – bottom line.

Although the lane is well marked, nice and smooth and wide, it is also a bus lane and a turning lane.

Don’t get me wrong, I love the Junction-Breakwater Trail. It is a viable route from Lewes to Rehoboth Beach for those who are riding fat-tire bikes, not those riding road bikes.

The trail is heavily used and has probably saved lives by taking people off Route 1.

Yet, any given hour on any given day you can find bicyclists riding along the highway. Most ride without helmets.

Thank God for Sussex Cyclists and DelDOT for providing summer safety checkpoints to alert those riders to the rules of the road. Once again, their efforts have saved lives.

Each year I take a ride from Lewes to Rehoboth Beach along Route 1 to access the situation. My annual ride this summer was Wednesday, July 15, between 6:30 and 8 p.m.

Although I consider myself an experienced rider with tens of thousands of miles under my belt, it was a scary experience. I’m also not a timid rider and am not the least afraid of riding in traffic.

On at least four occasions, motorists turned off right in front of me instead of waiting for me to cross the turnoff.

To be perfectly honest I don’t know how some of the bicyclists I see riding along Route 1, without helmets and wearing IPods, get from Point A to Point B in one piece.

Even DelDOT officials warn people to stay off Route 1 as much as possible.

So what is my assessment for 2009?

Route 1 is still not a safe place for anything without a motor, and the jury is even out on just how safe it is for motor traffic.