Monday, August 18, 2008

Undying issue ...

This bicycling issue has surprised me with its longevity. I sort of understand the supporters of cycling, but the hostility shown by opponents of cycling is a bit baffling. There was a letter in the Issue One section of Sunday’s paper from a Kristin Debbis that is a good example of that hostility. She evidently travels in the hilly area of the city around Station Square, where they used to run that race. Now, possibly some cyclists are zipping down the hills in the area, whipping around blind corners. She would have a point in complaining about them. But the style of her complaints reveals a startling lack of understanding of how bicycles operate, how they have to operate. She complains about cycles running red lights (illegal), turning left or right across oncoming cars (isn’t that what you have to do in traffic), going 15 or 20 MPH under the speed limit (hello, they are bikes) and (my favorite) riding next to but not on the sidewalks (that’s what the law says bikes should do). Basically this woman wants bikes out of her way.

Biking on roads where there are two traffic lanes is tough, and if I am in that situation I will often ride on the sidewalk, although that is not my preference. But Ms Debbis wants the City to make sure she is not inconvenienced by bicycles at all. Unless she is driving a Prius or Civic Hybrid, she is not doing all she can to make sure her driving does not inconvenience the rest of us. If you ask (or demand) something of the rest of us, we have a right to ask what you are doing for us.

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