Your April 9, 2020, article, “Cyclists, Walkers, Joggers Take to Marco Streets: Safety Is the Key & Common Sense Is Encouraged” was a good piece for all to read. It encouraged the use of bike lanes over sidewalks and cited DOT findings of support. All citizens in the community should take another look at that article.
Since the social distancing mandate in mid-March, I’ve logged 325 miles on my road bike. It would be too tedious to count the miles I’ve accumulated on Marco Island roads since moving here 6 years ago. My husband is also a biker. We ride defensively and always follow the rules of the road. We marvel at the dangers people put themselves into by riding on the sidewalks instead of the designated bike lanes on the roads. For the most part, drivers are very courteous and respectful of cyclists, too. Let’s face it, we all benefit from a healthy and active community. There are still, however, some old-fashioned thinkers who would be damned before yielding a few seconds to a cyclist.
The Winterberry Bridge at Heathwood is the only trouble spot on my 16-mile daily ride. The bike lane ends right before the bridge, so I continue on the far-right side of the road at my 15 MPH pace up the bridge and down the other side to the adjoining bike lane. It may take me six seconds to get over the bridge. Six seconds. Timing usually works out, but sometimes, like today, there was an antsy driver, probably in a hurry to get to Publix for more toilet paper, who crossed the yellow center line to pass me on the bridge. With pedestrians, a cyclist and a right–turning car approaching the bridge from the other side, the driver nearly cut me off to swerve back in her lane. It could have been a very ugly accident at a busy intersection.
So now, for the few drivers on Marco with little patience for sharing the road, if you see a cyclist in the middle of the lane on the Winterberry Bridge, please know that they temporarily overtaking the road for your safety, their safety and for the safety of oncoming traffic.
– Kathryn Rogers