Perplexing priorities – Roundabout or bike route

For about a mile, along the asphalt alley that is Arnold Drive, from just north of Loma Vista Drive to just beyond Country Club Drive, a perfectly safe and serviceable bike lane (in most places at least 3-feet wide on either side of the road) dissolves into the sharply sloping shoulders and disappears.

Along each side of the road, for most of that mile, there is a deep ditch into which no one on a bicycle would logically want to descend.

As a result, safe bicycle passage from Glen Ellen to the western edge of Sonoma is interrupted and riders must contend with the perilously intimate passage of large trucks, fast cars and people texting and dialing while they drive.

A handful of heart-in-throat excursions along that route revealed the following uncomfortable encounters to at least one rider:

A cement truck, weighing between 30,000 and 70,000 pounds, bearing down on the rider from behind while oncoming traffic eliminated any opportunity for the massive machine to edge into the opposing line to give the cyclist the 3-foot birth required by a new law that will take effect next September. Did the truck slow down, as the new law will require, until the bicycle was safe to pass with the mandated cushion?

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