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Russell Ford-Dunker, Fargo, Published June 29 2012

Ignorance of bicycle laws

While riding my bicycle on a downtown Fargo street June 18, a passing motorist yelled at me from her open window: “You’re not a car!” I’m not sure what she thinks – that bicycles should be confined to sidewalks? That only motorized vehicles have a right to use the streets?

Though it’s jarring to be yelled at, and doubly annoying when you’re doing nothing but riding lawfully home from work, it seems the best response is to simply forgive her for being clueless. Still, it begs the question: Why are so many people in our area seemingly ignorant of traffic laws regarding bicycles?

I find most drivers courteous and respectful of bicyclists, and many cyclists abide by traffic laws. On the other hand, I see bicyclists in the wrong almost daily. I have to admit I sometimes want to yell out my window at them. They create unsafe conditions and reflect poorly on law-abiding cyclists.

Clearly, the city of Fargo wants to be bicycle-friendly. I applaud that and urge those who can help solve this problem to work harder on it.