I think that the message is designed to be 'balanced.' That is, there
are responsibilities on the powered vehicle driver and on the bicyclist
to work out the sharing. Sharing is one of those transactional concepts
that has more than one node.
So I think it is appropriate to tell the bicyclists how to be
cooperative in the endeavor. This raises credibility for the more
important part of the message to powered vehicle drivers -- respect
bicyclists' share of the road.
Peter K Duval wrote:
>'Share the Road' is a message for motorists. The main purpose, of course,
>is to diminish the prevailing notion that roads are by and for cars, and to
>instill the understanding that cyclists are vehicles. (The side effect that
>cyclists figure this out is a nice bonus).
>If defensive biking and walking advice, and -- worse -- admonishments to
>cyclists to 'behave well' or the message, 'It is your responsibility to be
>visible', are mixed with 'share the road' the fundamental purpose is at best
>obscured and the audience is confused. Motorists are invited to enumerate
>the many reasons why cyclists and walkers are at-fault.
>This message confusion is illustrated within the initial posting. In the
>beginning, defensive walking/cycling are lumped together under the heading
>"About the Share The Road messages". Later in the post, a category for
>"Lights and Light Clothing PSAs" emerges. I say this bluntly to help the
>cause: If the key person in the state's key advocacy group is confused
>about what the message is, then you can be sure that Joe Six-Pack is not
>going understand that muddled message either.
>The masses are motorists. Focus on getting them to realize that they must
>share the road. Save the defensive cycling advice for more targeted means
>of communication. And don't confuse the road sharing message with
>hairsplitting specifics like '3 foot passing separation is adequate' -- a
>notion which itself deserves a lot of debunking.
>Peter K. Duval +1 (802) 899-1132
>51 Hanley Lane fax: 899-1132
>Jericho, Vermont 05465
>VTBIKEPEDPOLICY-L: The Vermont Bicycle and Pedestrian Policy Discussion List
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