With its winding mountain trails and close proximity to the bike path, cyclists are everywhere in Mill Valley year-round.
But in a town with narrow, sinewy streets and where just about everybody owns a bike, there are going to be times when drivers, cyclists and pedestrians clash. One of our neighbors to the north, the town of Fairfax, is its enforcement efforts of cyclists who run stop signs.
"While we are a bike-friendly town, we can not allow cyclists to continue to have the blatant disregard for the rules of the road,” Fairfax Police Chief Christopher Morin said.
When cyclists choose to ignore stop signs or speed downhill faster than neighboring motorists, they put themselves and pedestrians at greater risk, law enforcement officials say.
But for a town that's often swarming with bikers, pedestrians and cars simultaneously, Mill Valley Police officers receive a relatively low number of complaints, according to Police Chief Angel Bernal.
Bernal said that the department receives occasional complaints regarding cyclists running stop signs or speeding in various parts of the city, but the overall number is relatively low.
"We've taken a number of speed samples in specific areas and for the most part it looks like cyclists are moving faster than they really are," he said.
Cyclists are required to follow the same traffic laws as motorists, but some enthusiasts see riding a bike as more of a sport than a mode of transportation.
The Camino Alto Grade, Blithedale and Camino Alto intersection and the area from Edgewood St. to Molina St. on Miller Avenue represent the biggest problem areas.
When it comes down to it, it's all about mutual respect and being mindful of your actions. Bernal notes that riding a bike doesn't give you a free-pass to re-invent the rules of the road, and cyclists that ignore traffic laws will get a citation.
"It's really a matter of cyclists and motorists knowing that the road needs to be shared, the fact that someone is on a bike doesn't relieve them of any responsibility."