to my fellow bicyclists

by - 15:07

This article made me so angry. Being a person who enjoys "Sharing the Road" with motor vehicles, yet has had her fair share of arrogant and inconsiderate drivers speeding by, I am appalled that any news source would publish something as atrocious as this. Their columnist, Zack Colman, feels very strongly against having bicycles on the same road as automobiles. And for what reason? None of his points are strong enough to stand alone. And the threat he has that "...if you’re a bicyclist on the road but not in a bike path and you see my car, I hope you’re wearing a helmet, because I might run you over" makes me so sad for this person and so angry for all cyclists.

Read more here and feel free to personally tell him how you feel here.


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  1. saying that newspaper is respectable might be a little generous. i've been trying to find out who to write to at the university to complain to, since mr. colman is actually an editor at the paper!

  2. --copy of an letter sent to MSU requesting corrective action for the death threats---

    Lou Anna K. Simon
    Michigan State University, President

    Crime Reporting Unit
    Michigan State University Police

    1) Overview of Concerns:

    I am reporting a written and publicly distributed death threat against numerous members of Michigan State University (MSU) students, staff and general public. I request MSU staff and the Michigan State University Police to address this death threat in a timely and professional manner to ensure the physical safety of those threatened. Secondary concerns with the article's encouragement of criminal behavior need to be addressed; but only after the physical safety is ensured of the bike community.

    2) Primary Concern: Death Threat.

    Zack Colman, staff writer for The State News, made specific death threats against the bike community in his recent article, "Bicyclists Need to Stay on Sidewalk" ( ). In the article, Mr. Colman describes an specific target, specific weapon, specific method of assault and cites specific motivations for his assault; therefore, his statements exceed the First Amendment protections on speech and meet the threshold for criminal death threats. Mr. Colman specially states he is willing to run over members of the bike community with his motor vehicle as an act of road rage. A reasonable person would have cause to fear for his or her personal safety based on Mr. Colman's threat.

    Due to extreme nature of Mr. Colman's threats; immediate and comprehensive response is required by the MSU police to address this issue. However, I must advise the members of the MSU Bike patrol to use extreme caution when dealing with Mr. Coleman as Mr. Coleman did NOT exclude police officers on bike patrols from his list of potential targets in the bike community.

    I am requesting that Mr. Colman motor vehicle privileges be immediately revoked and not reinstated until after he is examined and assessed by licensed and qualified mental health professionals to assess the risk posed to by Mr. Colman to the public. A special focus on mental stability, anger management, and road rage tendencies should be included in the assessment. Appropriate corrective actions are requested to be implemented by MSU staff and police, to include criminal charges against Mr. Coleman.

    3) Secondary Concerns: Intimidation to Encourage Criminal Behavior.

    Mr. Colman states in his article that bikes need to stay off the road and bike on the sidewalk. Mr. Coleman describes his personal frustration at the speed that cyclists ride on campus roads as the justification for bikes to stay off the road way. However, the various Michigan Vehicle Codes and Michigan State University Obedience's that apply to bicyclists specifically grant the use of the roadway to cyclists, require cyclists to travel reasonable safe speeds and to NOT bike on the sidewalk. Therefore in addition to the death threat previously describe, Mr. Colman is also utilizing his position at The State News to intimidate the bike community as a means to encourage the bike community to violate State and University bike use regulations. It is unacceptable for Mr. Colman to attempt to force law abiding members of the bike community into committing violations of law. For reference purposes, the specific State and University regulations and laws are cited below:

    Michigan Vehicle Code 257.657 specifically grants the same rights to bicycles to the roadway as any other vehicle (except for special reasonable exceptions).
    Michigan Vehicle Code 257.660 (1) requires low-speed vehicles (to include bikes) to "shall ride as near to the right side of the roadway as practicable, exercising due care.."; such a requirement includes using the full lane if deemed required and practical for the circumstances
    Michigan State University Obedience 33.09 states that "No person shall operate a bicycle at a speed faster than what is reasonable and proper with regard to the safety of the operator and others."
    Michigan State University Obedience 33.13 states that "No operator of a bicycle shall cause the same to be driven upon or across any sidewalk..."
    Michigan State University Obedience 33.14 Every person operating a bicycle on a roadway on the campus shall be granted all of the rights and shall be subject to all of the duties applicable to the driver of a motor vehicle.

    4) Conclusion:

    Death threats of any nature are unacceptable in any modern environment and are not protected forms of speech. The increasing number of national incidences of homicidal violence on academic campus coupled with the very real danger posed by road rage dictate that Mr. Coleman's threats must be taken at face value. The university is ethically and legally obligated to make the proper response to the threats and take any and all appropriate corrective actions. I RESPONSE is requested to this email.


    Marcus Griffith

  3. I love it! Very creative!That's actually really cool.



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