On Friday, October 31, at approximately 3:30 PM, I was bicycling northbound on [street name removed]. Approaching the railroad tracks, the bike lane disappears and the outside lane narrows to a width that is unsafe to share side by side with a motor vehicle. I checked for traffic to the rear and then merged to the center of the outside lane. This is a defensive bicycling maneuver (supported by traffic law) to discourage motorists from passing too close within a narrow lane. After my merge, I noticed in my mirror that one of your drivers was approaching from behind in the outside lane. He saw me, safely changed lanes well in advance, and left plenty of passing clearance. However, the driver honked his horn as he passed in apparent ignorance or disapproval of my right to use the road.
I ask that you remind your drivers that (with minor exceptions) bicyclists have the same rights and duties as drivers of vehicles. Although the roadway configuration above is uncommon in [my city removed], your drivers should be aware that there are also other situations where they may see bicyclists riding legally in travel lanes – such as avoiding hazards in bike lanes, moving to and using left turn pockets, and avoiding potential conflicts with right turning traffic at intersections and driveways.