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Letter: ‘Share the road’ signs help protect cyclists from danger

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Southside Elementary teacher Mark Yeaton pedals his bike  on Road 200S in 2009 on his way home from work.

bicycle safety
File Southside Elementary teacher Mark Yeaton pedals his bike on Road 200S in 2009 on his way home from work. bicycle safety

Note: The statements, views, and opinions contained in this letter to the editor are those of the author and are not endorsed by, nor do they necessarily reflect, the opinions of The Republic.

From: Mark Yeaton


Received: Dec. 8

Well, sadly, another cyclist was struck from behind in the southwestern part of Bartholomew County. The location of where she was hit is the focus of this letter. The injured cyclist was on County Road 400W, which is a very popular road for cyclists since it is the main artery connecting to the No. 1 place for cyclists to ride in all of Indiana — southwestern Bartholomew County and eastern Brown County.

This distinction was written about in the September 2012 issue of Bicycling magazine in the article “50 Great Rides in 50 States.” This stretch of road has also been used as the race course for the Foundation For Youth Triathlon for the past 15-plus years.

That being said, I and many others are hoping to see more “Share the Road” signs which remind motorists to be alert for cyclists. I’m aware that not all motorists are happy to see cyclists on the road, but cyclists have the same rights and responsibilities to use roads. Columbus doesn’t have enough People Trails to everywhere cyclists need/want to go, and as gas prices continue to rise more people will be cycling to work as well as to adopt a healthier lifestyle.

I know some motorists aren’t happy with cyclists on the road. I understood that when I had water thrown on me at the same location as where the aforementioned cyclist was hit. This occurred about a month ago. Cyclists have had worse happen.

As my chosen mode of transportation for more than 25 years is a bicycle, I am very grateful for the courtesy shown by most motorists, especially when they pass me from behind, a cyclist’s most vulnerable spot. The cyclist injured recently on County Road 400W, just south of County Road 200S, was hit from behind by a motorist that said he didn’t see her. She was wearing a high-visibility jacket and had a flag, and it was 1:30 p.m. Maybe if there had been a “Share the Road” sign he would have realized that’s why the car in front of him swerved to go around the cyclist.

With increased use of county roads by cyclists, I’m hoping that more “Share the Road” signs will start popping up. If you’d like to request more signs, contact Bartholomew County Highway Department at 379-1660 and talk with Danny. I don’t know if County Commissioners weigh in on this issue, but their number is 379-1515.

Be careful, drive safe and treat every day like it’s a gift and each other with respect.

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