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Street signs proclaiming bicycle rights cause local controversy

Most bicyclists understand they have the same rights and responsibilities on the roads around Phoenix that motorists have. However, bicyclists are much more vulnerable, especially when motorists fail to acknowledge those rights. Even when wearing full safety gear, including a helmet, a rider may sustain serious injuries if a vehicle gets too close. 

According to AZFamily, street signs in Ahwatukee identify bicyclists’ rights to the road by stating bicycles can use the full lane. The City of Phoenix has posted the 34 signs along stretches of road with speed limits of 40 mph to clarify that the shoulder on these streets is not, as many people believe, a bike lane. 

Critics say that even if the bicyclists have the right to take the lane, it is not safe to do so, and the riders should stay on the shoulder. However, bicyclists point out that in the lane, they become more visible to motorists, and it makes their ride safer. Riders may feel that motorists’ objections have more to do with ill-will toward those who may slow traffic down in one lane. 

Social media has become a battleground for the controversy where residents are expressing their opinions. Regardless of public feeling on the matter, if a motorist hits a rider who is in the lane, the motorist would be at fault. 

When bicyclists sustain injuries in collisions with vehicles, the auto insurance of the at-fault party typically pays for the damages. Many victims, however, choose to speak to an attorney about pursuing justice through the legal system. 

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