From Huntville Times
HUNTSVILLE, AL - Bankhead Parkway is a popular route for local bicycle riders, but it has Ruth Ann Haymes worried about how safe it is for cyclists and motorists sharing the road.
Haymes, who is 82 and lives on Monte Sano, said that several times she’s had to stop her car to avoid a head-on collision with another car passing a bicyclist on the mountainous, curvy road.
“I’m 82 years old and really don’t want to get hit head on,” she said.
Bankhead Parkway has a double-yellow line from about Tollgate Road to the top of the mountain, which means passing is prohibited. Many a motorist going up the mountain behind a bicyclist will be waved around by the biker, Haymes said.
But, she said, the yellow line makes that illegal and blind curves make it hazardous.
There are few, if any, places for a bicyclist going up the mountain to pull off to the side to let vehicles pass.
Haymes wants to know what the police have to say about the situation.
Lt. Mark McMurray, supervisor of the Police Department’s Special Services unit, which includes the Traffic Task Force, said police can ticket a motorist for passing with the yellow line on Bankhead.
“If we’re there to see it,” he said.
Bicyclists have a right to be on the road, he said, and are supposed to ride as far to the right as possible.
McMurray said the Bankhead lanes are only about eight feet wide, and have no place to pull off the road because of a deep ditch on the side.
He said a motorist who passes a bicyclist on Bankhead should stay at least 3 feet from the biker.
“Use common sense and good judgment,” McMurray advised.