As a worker in downtown Lewiston, I travel the downtown streets constantly and park downtown every day. I usually park on Blake Street, between Pine and Walnut streets. When I leave for the day, I have to cross Pine Street, which now has a “dedicated bike lane,” to get down to Ash Street.

Since Pine Street is a one-way street, bicycles are supposed to be going with the direction of motor vehicles only — one way. Twice now, I have encountered a bicyclist traveling against traffic and have almost pulled out to cross without noticing him coming from the wrong direction.

Not knowing if this is the way the bike lane is supposed to work, I went to the Lewiston Police Department and talked to a police officer. He told me the bicyclist wasn’t supposed to be going against traffic on a one-way street and bicyclists were to “follow the same laws as vehicles.” (That is written in the Maine Motor Vehicle Law Book.)

Since the Lewiston City Council is considering a designated bike lane on Lisbon Street, who is going to patrol the bike lane so bicyclists don’t go the wrong way and create a dangerous, possibly fatal, situation such as exists on Pine Street now?

One last question regarding rights of way and turning onto side streets: Who has the right of way when a bike lane is on the right and a vehicle wants to turn right and the bicycle wants to go straight?

Who has to yield?

Sandra Dyer, New Gloucester

Editor’s note: According to the Bicycle Coalition of Maine, the answer on right of way depends on the positions of the car and the bicycle. If a cyclist is alongside or in front of a car, and driver of the car intends to turn right, Maine law requires the driver of the car to slow down and wait for the cyclist to pedal straight ahead.  If the cyclist is traveling behind a car and intends to go straight but sees the car turn on its blinker, the cyclist should slow down and wait for the car to turn and then continue straight.


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