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Should a cyclist warn, ‘On your left'?

Cyclists are often trying to be courteous and safety-conscious when they call “on your left!” as they whiz past.

But some people find it confusing. Often, by the time you hear an “on your left,” it's too late to do anything. Startled riders or walkers may instinctively swerve left.

But Dave Kuhlman of Lombard, Ill., and Steve Lutz of Glen Ellyn, Ill., who have developed “On Yer Left!” T-shirts and hats (check out onyerleft.com) so we can all get along on shared paths, say that passing silently can be just as startling as yelling.

“Slow down, politely announce your intention (On Yer Left!) and pass amicably,” Kuhlman advised.

On crowded multiuse paths, the question isn't whether cyclists should slip by quietly or make a little noise as they pass. Instead they should ask themselves, “Am I going too fast?” The rest of us, meanwhile, should stay right.

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