The latest debate about cyclists on Maine roads, spurred by a recent guest column, has continued to irk me. The pro-cyclist rebuttals of Wendy Leighton’s column (April 21) have been on point in emphasizing that it’s not the presence of the cyclist, but the driver’s poor choices which are responsible for creating the unsafe situations.

What hasn’t been talked about is the experience of cycling and having vehicles not provide a rider the three feet required by law. It’s tremendously frightening to have a vehicle come within inches of you, especially at high speed. Already this spring, I have had numerous close calls, both running and cycling, because of poor decisions by motorists.

This is what really upsets me: it’s a conscious decision by the driver to put my life in danger, not a mistake. Whether they’re too much in a hurry or unwilling to give me space on the road, a slight miscalculation could mean my life. (There are many more who do give the space. Thank you.)

Ultimately, while some can blame the laws or the cyclists, the reality is that runners/walkers and cyclists are on Maine roads and have a legal right to be there. Cars are required to give three feet of space (which is greater than an arm’s length) to both cyclists and pedestrians.

I’d ask people to consider the potential consequences before they make the decision not to slow down or to not observe that distance and try to squeeze near a runner or cyclist.

Joshua Howe, Auburn


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