Wrong-way bicyclists in downtown Bremerton worry reader

The in basket: Dan Wages and Michael Johnson are upset about two strategies use by shipyard workers in Bremerton to get to work in the morning. We’ll discuss Dan’s first and Michael’s in the next Road Warrior.

Dan says, “Every weekday morning at about 7 a.m. I see several bicyclists coming off of the Seattle ferry ride against traffic westbound on First Street heading towards the PSNS gate.

“This looks very dangerous,” he said, “in that cars coming down Pacific, which turns into First Street, do not expect two-way traffic on a one way street. I witnessed one accident a few months ago where a bicyclist struck a vehicle turning into the Kitsap Credit Union building’s underground parking and hear drivers of cars yelling at the bicyclists reminding them that they are on a one-way street going the wrong direction.”

He wonders if what the bicyclists are doing is legal and thinks the city of Bremerton is risking a “huge liability” if one of the bikes is hit by a car.

“There is no signage telling cars to watch for traffic going against the flow on this one-way street,” he said. “Bremerton police do not issue tickets for what appears to be an illegal action.

About a dozen bicyclists do this each day, he said.

The out basket: Lt. Pete Fisher of the Bremerton police traffic division didn’t waste many words on this, saying, that bicyclists must follow the rules of the road per RCW 46.61.755, which says they must comply with all laws applied to automobiles, except that they can ride on the shoulder or sidewalk.

“Our position is that bicyclists must comply with all pertinent laws or they subject themselves to potential enforcement action,” he said.

He didn’t address whether they have written any tickets for this, but it’s clear that a bicyclist in the roadway going the wrong way is violating the law. It sounds like they can get way with it on the sidewalk if they don’t run down any pedestrians.

3 thoughts on “Wrong-way bicyclists in downtown Bremerton worry reader

  1. Oooo, potential enfocement action. Fat chance. I see bicyclists every day blow through the stop signs and lights on Pacific and Park Ave., often causing cars and pedestrians to make evasive maneuvers. Obviously they know they are exempt from “potential enforcement action.”

  2. I had a case similar to what Gary is speaking of in Everett a few years back. I was driving in a right turn only lane and passed a bicyclist also in that lane. When I turned right, he got mad at me cause he was trying to go straight in the right turn only lane.

  3. Serious cyclists should demand licensing, insurance and enforcement. I saw a guy on his bike yesterday, no helmet, coming down Washington Ave talking on his cell phone.

    The goofballs give serious cyclists a bad name. I suspect many of these are folks who lost their license for legal reasons. If they are unsafe to operate a motor vehicle on the road, why should they be considered safe to operate a bike? If they cause an accident innocent bystanders could be hurt.

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