Bike Path

To The Editor;

            One could hardly disagree that a marvelous experience exists in the extension of the bike path from Mattapoisett Neck Road to Reservation Road as described in your article of July 9: ” …the vistas of wetlands and wildlife now easily seen from an elevated bridge over marshlands.”

            State Representative William Straus’s promise in the same article that “There is more to come,” is encouraging. But while he was referring to further extension of the path from Reservation Road across to  Goodspeed Island and into Mattapoisett Village proper, Selectman Jordan Collyer’s remarks were more timely because they raised the need to address some imminent, possibly fatal dangers that the new crossing over Mattapoisett Neck Road present. As your article reported, Mr. Collyer said, “People need to be considerate of one another regarding use of the bike path and stressed cyclists need to abide by traffic rules and regulations.”

            Mr. Collyer’s observations are bang-on!

            Cyclists who arrive at the intersection from either direction need to recognize that stop means precisely that: Stop, look to your right and left to be sure that no traffic is approaching. Problem is that many cyclists, including the adults among them, flagrantly ignore those simple rules of the path. Anyone who drives on that road is familiar with this problem.

            And it is a problem terrifyingly exacerbated by existing speed limits approaching the intersection: 40 mph in either direction, frequently violated by drivers roaring along at 50 mph or more.

            Imagine then, the consequences of a collision between a vehicle traveling at 40 mph or more and a cyclist ignoring the stop sign or simply slowing before dashing ahead or a younger soul, a teen pedaling over with the sense of invulnerability that tends to exist in such minds these days.

            Might we take for a day every now and then one of the multitude of cops assigned to guard pothole repairs and assign them to that intersection, enforce the rules of the path and reduce the speed limit near the intersection so drivers are not careening forward at a rate of speed that makes it practically impossible to stop in time?

            G. J. Price, Mattapoisett

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