Tuesday, September 05, 2017

Letters commenting on the safety of bikers (& drivers & pedestrians), given the recent increase in urban cycling

Letter #1

I read the recent Times article on the upswing in cycle commuting with
great interest. Certainly, from the perspective of a technocratic
transportation planner, this is a great thing. However, it cannot
relieve the terror one feels at night when a lightless bike zooms by,
narrowingly missing a collision, or when one has to wrench the
steering wheel and swerve almost into another car, to avoid a cyclist
going the wrong way down a street. There must be a way to fix this.
Perhaps give licenses to cycle commuters? Or maybe technology can
help: Trackers on bicycles or cameras monitoring sidewalks to flag bad

Letter #2

I read with great interest the recent Times Op. Ed. about a
65-year-old pedestrian killed by a cyclist. I sympathize as I am often
terrified walking down sidewalks by careening cycles, coming out of
nowhere. Also, there's the scary situation of the driver who swerves,
nearly getting into an accident, to avoid a cyclist going the wrong
way. A fundamental issue underlying cyclists' unsafe behavior is that
it's often ambiguous -- from their perspective -- whether they are
motorists or pedestrians. It's often better for the cyclist to ride on
safer sidewalks than on more perilous roads or to ride through a red
light to keep momentum. What can be done? A cyclist needs to be given
clear rules, and they need to be enforced. If a bike becomes a loose
canon, perhaps it is possible to take it away before damage is done.

Unpublished letter in response to:

Wheels of Misfortune - NYTimes.com

More New Yorkers Opting for Life in the Bike Lane - The New York Times