Sunday, April 25, 2010

Column: Public misunderstands bicyclists

Lisa Barnes is correct in pointing out that car and truck drivers are often actively hostile to bicyclists. This is obvious to anyone who's ever pushed a pedal in Prescott. The bigger problem, though, is the distraction and unawareness that many drivers live in as their default state while driving, which causes as many problems for pedestrians and other drivers.

Did you ever think about why we have curbs and sidewalks? They're to help keep cars in the roadway and away from pedestrians -- not because drivers hate walkers, but because so many people are incompetent to drive. We take these things for granted as civilized infrastructure. Why must it be so different for bikes?

Obviously a lot of people are incompetent to drive bikes as well, but that's only an argument in favor of separating them from car and truck traffic. As I've said before here, bike lanes aren't for bikes, they're for cars, keeping bikes from impeding traffic lanes. If drivers ever start to catch on to that idea, you'll see bikes lanes striping in lickety-split.

It would have been nice if Ms Barnes had gone beyond telling stories that everyone knows to advocate solutions for everyone, biker and driver alike.

I mentioned a few weeks ago that I thought proofreading on the paper had improved, but the egregious top line on this story shows the editors are still prone to distraction.

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