Drivers must share road with cyclists and others
To the editor:
As an avid runner and cyclist and also a driver, I feel it is important to remind drivers that roads are meant to be shared.
Many of the newer highways, including Route 7, have been graded to include wider shoulders to accommodate vehicles, cyclists and pedestrians. Other roads may not have as wide of a shoulder, but still as drivers, we all need to realize that walkers, runners and cyclists have the same right to be on roads as cars.
I view the road from different vantage points. As a runner, I notice the drivers that are aware of me. Likewise, I notice the drivers who may be distracted. These drivers are usually talking or texting on a cell phone, fixing their hair or makeup, or not looking both ways when making a turn. At times, even when I am well within the shoulder, some drivers hug the shoulder and have to correct quickly.
Fortunately, most drivers are aware of others sharing the road and react accordingly, whether this means slowing down or moving more to the center. When cycling, usually clad in bright clothing, I can sense drivers that are aware and those that come so close that I feel the force of their vehicle.
At times, I have heard the argument that I should be on the bike path. As a previous member of the Bike Path Council, I consider it a wonderful alternative that I utilize frequently. However, this does not replace exploring the many miles of beautiful roads in Berkshire County.
I am also a driver. I, like many drivers, can at times feel rushed. But as I commute to work, I often see an elderly man out for his morning walk, a cyclist dressed in a shirt and tie commuting to work and a mother pushing her child in a jogging stroller. Although I may have to slow down or move to the center some, I am glad to accommodate them to ensure their safety.
As I drive by these folks, I am continually reminded the road is meant to be shared.
Lisa Mattila, Pittsfield