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Readers React: Cyclists get more rights. What about their responsibilities?

A driver who gets too close to a bike could be fined $35, or $220 if there is a crash that injures a cyclist.
A driver who gets too close to a bike could be fined $35, or $220 if there is a crash that injures a cyclist.
(Los Angeles Times)

To the editor: As a law-abiding driver and former cyclist, I will give bike riders their newly state-mandated three-foot buffer zone. (“3-foot buffer zones for cyclists to take effect across California,” Sept. 15)

But in return, I want the cyclist to follow these rules, several of which are in fact laws:

Ride with the flow of auto traffic and not against it. (I cannot tell you how many times I almost hit a cyclist when I was looking to the left at oncoming traffic and they were coming from the right.)

Ride in single file and not as a pair or as a pack of riders.

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Ride close to the curb and not in the middle of the traffic lane.

Stop for stop signs and obey all traffic signals.

And finally, do not ride on the sidewalks.

Jan Book, Marina del Rey

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To the editor: I’m all for safer cycling, as I used to bike commute to UCLA and just had a friend on a bicycle injured when a driver pulled out in front of him.

But as a driver in L.A.'s traffic, I hope that the police are equally as vigilant in citing slower-moving cyclists who impede the flow of traffic when they can in fact safely ride closer to the curb and let the faster cars pass. It is not only common courtesy, something in short supply these days, but also against the law for a cyclist to obstruct traffic by not riding as far to the right of the lane as is safe and practicable.

Mary Edwards, Los Angeles

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To the editor: I hope the spotted owl survives his burned-out habitat, but if he does not there is a replacement species waiting in the wings. His name is Bike Rider, and though he does not yet have federal protection, the state is looking out for his welfare.

The three-foot buffer law is now in effect, and I will do my best to abide by it. All I ask in return is for the bike rider to stop at stop signs and red lights, not to ride against traffic and to stay off the sidewalk.

That’s not asking too much, is it?

Robert Manipella, Monrovia

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