Commentary: Drivers, cyclists must share the roads

In recent days, that hardy Anchorage perennial, the battle of bicyclists versus drivers, has resumed in print and online, at least judging by letters to the editor.

Much of the bad blood comes from disputes over rights to the road. Bicycle commuters argue that many drivers refuse to recognize their presence, let alone their legal right to be there in traffic. Drivers counter that cyclists claim road rights but refuse to abide by vehicular rules.

Now there's a proposal that has cyclists alarmed that they'll be held liable if they're hit while crossing a roadway, and Bicycle Commuters of Anchorage aims to make its case against any such change at a public meeting with the city's Traffic Department.

Let's take a deep breath, then do the unusual -- look at this from the other person's perspective. For many of us who have logged thousands of miles as both bicyclists and drivers, this should be easy.

As drivers, let's remember that we're steering a ton or more of machinery at potentially destructive speeds down the road. That cyclist that we don't see because we're only looking left to make a right-hand turn has little protection beyond her helmet. Even in a one-way situation, we need to look both ways.

To read the complete editorial, visit www.adn.com.