I am 18 and going to high school in Snohomish. I ride a bicycle for transportation, and as I have no desire to have a motor vehicle, I will continue to do so. One day I may be hit by a car and injured, possibly seriously. I ride to school most days of the week along Bickford Avenue and into Snohomish.
I’ve noticed that, whether inside the city or outside, I am nearly invisible, although this is no fault of mine: I have two front-mounted lights, a rear light, a yellow light on either side of me, reflective tape, all in addition to the legally mandated front and rear reflectors. Despite these, I still do not feel safe crossing crosswalks or riding in streets. Cars often block crosswalks, causing me to go around them. Cars also pull out of parking lots and other exits quickly and without looking, endangering both me and their front grille.
If I wish to cross a street, I know from experience it is safer and faster to wait for an opening than to expect a driver to yield. I am not the only cyclist on the road; with rising gas prices, you will see even more in the coming months, especially since it’s warming up. Other cyclists may or may not be as visible or careful as I am, and drivers need to be aware of that. I’m sure vehicular manslaughter is not on many people’s lists of things they would like to do. Note: This letter does not apply to bus drivers, truck drivers or motorcyclists. They seem to be the only people who show me respect on the road.