By Janine Reyes
Posted: May 18, 2010 2:31 PM
Updated: May 19, 2010 2:49 AM
CORPUS CHRISTI- As the city takes another step towards a safe passing ordinance to give bicyclists more room on the road, the Traffic Engineering Department is looking into complaints and a possible ban on cyclists on other roads. The problem is the areas they plan to ban go right through a regular cycling route.
“This is our main regular route,” said cyclist Larry Donaldson, “We take this road to Nueces River and back out to Lamar Park which is about 42-43 miles.”
It’s a route Larry Donaldson is very familiar with. He leads a large group of Corpus Christi area cyclists in the area around up river road weekly. He says there’s one thing each rider must have and that’s safety.
“We stay to the right we ride in a safe pack group, especially on this road,” he explained.
But some truck drivers, disagree and they’ve brought their complaints to the city’s traffic engineers. We couldn’t find any specifically opposed to cyclists in Corpus Christi. But, truck driver Chris Prevatt has had problems maneuvering around cyclists before.
“Sometimes they don’t get far enough on the shoulder. If you’ve got trucks traveling on two-lane roads, the lanes are pretty skinny,” said Prevatt.
By law, cyclists are not allowed to take the highway, so they take access roads, which can be a problem in certain industrial areas.
“The trucks are real large and having to stop quickly, we can’t do that. If they bob out into the traffic lane, its dangerous,” said Prevatt.
The city’s Traffic Department plans to discuss complaints cyclists claim are being anonymously launched. They may look to possibly create no bicycling zones in industrial areas. Cyclists say doing that will destroy their route, which is one the city designated in 2005.
“We can’t ride in the city. We can’t ride out here. I mean, what’s left?” said Donaldson.
State law gives cyclists the same rights to the road as trucks and cars. Cyclist Freddy Ramirez says safely sharing the road is possible.
“As long as we can all get together and follow the rules of the road, we’ll be fine,” said Ramirez.
Truck drivers like Dusty Faro agree.
“I just get over. They’re doing their thing, I do mine,” said Faro.
Ramirez says his right to ride is just as important as anyone’s right to the road. He thinks the city should be helping riders get out more.
Ramirez says, “Men’s magazine had ranked us the fattest city in the area, so the community should be doing everything possible to promote physical activity of its citizens.”
Still, some city leaders and drivers say the ban would only be to help keep cyclists safe.
“Bicycle vs truck. Bicycle loses,” said truck driver Chris Prevatt.