I am alarmed by the letters that suggest requiring bicycle riders to ride against the traffic or on sidewalks. The technical barriers to either of those suggestions are insurmountable, and the practice would be dangerous.
When I ride, it is not unusual to reach speeds of 25 mph, even on flat pavement. If the speed limit on the street were 35 mph, then the closing speed of the car and my bike would be 60 mph. That is dangerous.
On the other hand, I don’t understand the bicycle commuters who ride on busy streets during rush hour. That experience is as bad for the rider as it is for the motorist.
The solution for Kansas City and its neighbors is to create dedicated, wide bike lanes for viable bike transport during rush hour in and out of business centers. Right now the choices for bike travel to and from downtown and other business centers are very limited. Some riders, who want a fast commute home, risk riding on busy streets.
Let’s work to provide viable alternatives for bicycle commuters and refrain from suggesting dangerous biking practices.
Thomas M. Deacy
Cindy Oetting (8/10, Letters)http://www.kansascity.com/309/story/741078.html suggests that cyclists ride on the sidewalk, and, if a bicycle hits a pedestrian, not much harm would be done. Well, recently I was that pedestrian and almost got hit by three cyclists who believe they have the run of the sidewalk.
I walk a lovely trail by my house, which is for bicycles also. About one in 10 cyclists will yell “on your left” when passing. Most don’t bother, nor do they get over to the left. I always walk on the right side of the trail, but it seems some riders want to be there also.
I don’t know if the cyclists are taking out their frustrations from autos on pedestrians or what, but the majority of them are extremely rude and inconsiderate of walkers. I also see many riding side by side instead of single file. Many do not wear helmets (that’s their problem). I have even seen a few talking on their cell phones.
This path is not Ward Parkway, with wonderful wide lanes, but there is room for walkers and cyclists if the latter would obey the rules.