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Bicyclists on the road have the same rights and responsibilities as someone driving a vehicle. We must stop at stop signs and wait our turn just like a car. We do not expect vehicles to stop for us at an unsigned intersection, particularly one with a turn lane – we will wait until it’s our proper turn and safe to proceed.

Twice in the past week drivers have stopped on Kagy Boulevard and honked at me because they were waiting for me to cross Kagy on Tracy Avenue at the Kagy Korner Store intersection. This is not safe! One vehicle cannot block two turn lanes and two through lanes. This is not how you would treat another car or truck at that intersection. This and other types of unexpected individual acts of “courtesy” are unpredictable and dangerous to other drivers as well as the cyclists.

Here’s what to do: Just pretend I’m driving. I will use the turn lanes when needed, and the through lanes when appropriate. I will wait my turn. I will keep to the right because I am slower than you are. I will even use daytime lights to be more visible. You do all these things when you drive, so it should be easy to remember how to share the road with cyclists - treat them like cars.

Other cyclists should be aware that Montana law gives us the same rights and responsibilities on the road, which means you also need to “drive your bike”.

Please obey the rules of the road.

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Cathy Baumbauer