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Motorists must respect bicyclists

This is in response to the recent letter stating that bicyclists should get off the highways and stick to the bike trails. The author needs to understand that, while our bike trail system is a wonderful community asset, it is not extensive enough to carry users to many destinations.

As a member of the Rochester/Olmsted Bicycle Pedestrian Advisory Committee, I can attest to the fact that planning to improve this situation is ongoing; but it takes much dedication, many years and many dollars just to put a few more miles of trail in place.

I’d like to remind readers that Minnesota statutes recognize bicycles as legal vehicles on all roads except freeways. As a cyclist, I make use of this allowance and frequent the local highways on rides to destinations for which there are no trails: to Byron, Eyota or Stewartville, for example.

To do so, Minnesota law gives me and other cyclists all the rights and duties applicable to drivers of other vehicles. It is not my intention to create hazards or to inhibit the flow of traffic, but rather to get from one place to another in an environmentally friendly manner and to get some exercise.

Drivers in other parts of the world understand and respect this, and I look forward to the time when more U.S. drivers do, too.

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Sue Anderson

Northwest Rochester

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