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Transportation

What Do Drivers Really Think About Cyclists?

Not much, according to a new survey.
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AP Photo/Molly Riley

Drivers and cyclists don’t always get along, nor do they shy from critiquing one another’s road behavior in words unfit for print. But it’s nice to think that maybe somewhere, deep down, they hold a grudging respect for the fact that the other group is just trying to get around, day to day, on frustrating city streets.

Nice, but evidently wrong. For a new survey, presented this week during a transportation conference, researcher Tara Goddard and colleagues at Portland State University asked drivers and cyclists to rate how well both mode groups are able to “follow the rules of the road” or to be “predictable” on the street. While neither group scored great in the exercise, cyclists scored way worse—especially in the eyes of drivers who never ride a bike.