I do think bike lanes are a good place to start, but we also need to consider WHERE we place them on the road. On JPA & West Main they are on the left side of parked cars! (It's like playing Russian Roulette with car doors) Why don't we remove the offending parking lanes and just put wide bike lanes there instead? You might argue that there is limited room to park already in these areas, but there is also significant injury risk to cyclists. Prevent a crash, move out the auto trash!
Regarding the cycling story in the C'ville, I'm glad they took the time to write a story on cycling in the city and identified several of the limitations and places that could use improvement. However, I don't understand why the author sensationalized the danger of riding in the city. I have been riding in town for over 10 years and have not had a major issue. It's obvious, you don't ride down Rt 29 and you need to be careful at intersections. Also, it does not take 20 minutes to get from the hospital to a residence off of Rugby road. That is a complete fabrication as I could walk there in that amount of time. The article missed one major point - cyclists need to take the initiative for their own safety by understanding and following the laws of the road. The City wants to increase the number of cyclists and safety of cyclists in the city. I see that position as a huge positive for getting the improvements in the city's cycling infastructure.
I completely agree with Andy. It is obvious to those of us who have been biking in C'ville for a long time there are places that you have to avoid (29, the 250 Bypass), but Charlottesvillians that are new to biking need to know there are resources out there to help them, such as the Charlottesville Bike Mentor program that just started (http://www.transportationchoice.org/). I’m aware the author wrote a piece on the bike mentor program as well; why didn’t she mention that in this front page article? If you’ve never ridden a motorcycle before, would you just jump on one, twist the throttle, and try to ride around in traffic? No, you need to be taught the basics of the machine works, how to control it, and what dangers to watch out for. The same things goes for riding a bicycle in town. The article is written in a way that might scare off anyone considering to ride their bike around town, which is what I don’t like. But don’t get me wrong, I agree there is work to be done on the infrastructure for bike lanes, and I appreciate the author bringing this to everyone’s attention.
andy/matt,good points. thanks for reading. i stoked this article has sparked a debate outside c-ville.com. dig it - you guys have been cranking the pedals for years and are fearless. the reporter has not. big difference in perspectives. early on there must have been a point where something scared you riding a bike (imagine sherando after 1 week of riding. scary.) this was probably the space she was operating in. now get out there and destroy some cars!luv,frank
Post a Comment