Letter: Path connections

By on September 2, 2010

In reference to your Aug. 19 article regarding Sugar Grove’s plan for bicycle path connections, I must say I find this extremely confusing.

Why bother? Having lived in Maple Park for over 20 years now, I find it extremely disturbing that any more money would be spent on bike paths that cyclists seem to prefer not to use.

I have never encountered so many bikes traveling on rural 55 mph roads as I have in the last three to four years. This is dangerous, to say the least, as there is no paved shoulder for safe travel on these roads.

I am also certain that these cyclists cannot maintain a minimum of 45 mph for any length of time no matter how fit they are. It is impossible to tell when they are going to swerve or hit an obstacle when traveling these roads. They seem to think the rules of the road do not apply to them as they frequently travel two or three across. Having done a little research, I found the following information on Illinois Secretary of State’s Rules of the Road:
“The maximum speed limit in Illinois for all vehicles is 65 mph on rural interstate tollways, freeways and some four-lane highways, except where otherwise posted. The maximum speed limit on most other highways is 55 mph. You may drive at the maximum allowable speed only under safe conditions. For safety purposes, a minimum speed limit may be posted along certain roadways. When minimum limits are not posted, drivers should not drive so much slower than the maximum limit that they interfere with the normal movement of traffic.”

These bikes definitely do not adhere to these regulations and in fact do interfere with normal movement of traffic. Another interesting fact is:
“A person may not operate a neighborhood or low-speed vehicle on a street, road or highway without obtaining liability insurance.”

With all the bike paths currently available, I do not understand how riding a bicycle on rural roads and highways is even conceivable. Here’s an idea, why can’t these cyclists be allowed to ride on the tollway if distance training is the objective? I would think that would be much safer for all involved, as there are already larger paved shoulders on the tollways, which could more than support bicycle traffic.

If in fact this is where the cyclists prefer to travel. I think they should be required to purchase license plates and insurance like any other moving vehicle traveling these roads. Or better yet, stay on the designated bike paths. Is it just me or have any other citizens in the area that have had bad experiences with this?

Faith Gonzales
Maple Park