Bicyclists vs. all others: How about no-bike zones?


In reference to an article written about a young lady by the name of Amy Hill, who was hit by a golf cart driven by a juvenile, I would like to give Ms. Hill an alternative viewpoint.

I will give her the benefit of the doubt in regards to how the young cart driver was operating her vehicle.

Ms. Hill states she was heading west on McIntosh Road, in front of Huddleston Elementary school, going 26 miles an hour. That stretch of road is on flat ground starting to go down a long hill with a blind curve at the bottom of the hill. Then the road turns into an incline.

She may have been going 26 miles an hour at the time of the incident, but she surely does not keep that pace going uphill on her travels, which would put her under the minimum speed limit on the same road, which in itself is illegal.

One complaint Ms. Hill had was that the cart driver was on the road even though there was a bike path adjacent to the roadway. I could make the same argument that Ms. Hill should be on that same path instead of the roadway.

She states in the article that she no longer rides on the paths due to dangerous cart riders. So instead of being in danger from potential cart drivers, she has become the danger to people driving cars on the street.

I myself am a bicyclist, but choose to go around or even stop for others on the cart path system, rather than make cars go around me on the road. These roads, especially the one she was on at the time of the crash, are full of blind curves and blind hills.

By making cars pass her, she puts that car, as well as any other vehicles heading in the opposite direction, in danger of crashing head-on or being the victim of a lawsuit or criminal charges, if they hit her.

Ms. Hill lost a little credibility with me when she states she moved to Sharpsburg from Peachtree City due to the dangerous cart riders on the paths. That makes little sense to me, because she goes out of her way to bring her bicycle back to Peachtree City and ride on our roads. She could have done that without moving.

And at the time just before the crash she started screaming at the young cart driver. She also admitted that she had time to swerve twice before the impact. She may have been on a course to miss her, but her screaming may have caused the young woman to become confused as to how to proceed. Only she knows.

Ms. Hill wants our city officials to consider banning 15-year olds from driving golf carts without supervision. If our government is going to consider this, they should also consider banning bicycle riders from operating on our main roads outside of subdivisions.

Inside of subdivisions should be O.K., any child should be able to ride in their own neighborhood, and cars there should be driving with extreme caution anyway.

I cannot say for sure exactly what happened at the time of the crash, but I can say for sure that if Ms. Hill was not riding on our roads, she would not have gotten injured by the young woman.

She was not even going anywhere; she was driving in a circle practicing for an Ironman competition. I would suggest a gym, or riding on the roads in her new hometown of Sharpsburg.

Anyone who drives on our streets can see the amount of bicyclists on the main roads has gotten out of control, especially at the 5 o’clock hour and on the weekends.

I wish Ms. Hill a speedy recovery, but also wish in the future she does not continue to put me and my family in danger by riding on our main roads.

D. Allen
Peachtree City, Ga.

[The editor replies: Under Georgia law, a bicycle is expressly permitted to operate on public roadways, with one exception. In code section 40-6-294(c), the law says this: “Whenever a usable path has been provided adjacent to a roadway and designated for the exclusive use of bicycle riders, then the appropriate governing authority may require that bicycle riders use such path and not use those sections of the roadway so specified by such local governing authority.” Pay particular attention to that word “exclusive.” The Peachtree City Council has the statutory authority to confine bicycles to bicycle-only paths adjacent to roads, but whether it would want to do so is a political question that has so far been answered in the negative.]