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The Daily Wildcat

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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Other Voices: What would you do to make the streets safer for cyclists?

    Laws should be changed to improve cyclist safety

    I would like to see legislation passed making it mandatory for bicyclists to:

    1) Take a course on bicycle safety and operation in or around traffic. Among other considerations, if bicyclists insist on sharing roadways with motor vehicles, they should be required to demonstrate an ability to move in keeping with expected norms of motor vehicle traffic flow.

    2) Have bicycles outfitted with directional and stop lights just like every other vehicle that operates in traffic; that’s fair, as well as sensible.

    3) Mandate regular safety checks for bicycle equipment – such as brake rubbers and cables, as well as gear shifting systems. Few things are as aggravating or dangerous as a bicyclist who can’t get out of his or her own way, much less yours, in an intersection full of hasty and often inconsiderate rush hour drivers. Also, not all bicycle related tragedies are motor vehiclists’ fault. Some, though few, are related to bicycle equipment failure.

    4) Insist that bicyclists carry insurance just like everyone else who operates in a traffic situation. If bicyclists insist on sharing roadways with motor vehicles, they should be required to have the same accident protection as other responsible drivers. That’s also only fair and sensible. And finally…

    5) Have bicyclists restricted from all in-traffic riding after dusk, limiting them to side street or park riding, and then only with the aforementioned safety provisions. Bicyclists riding near motor vehicle roadways would be required to ride safely and considerately only on sidewalks and to cross streets with traffic lights and signs like pedestrians. We are in a brave new era in which slow moving and less visible human powered vehicles insist on competing with large and incomparably, potentially lethal motor vehicles. Everyone needs to learn to get along and interact considerately and sensibly on the road, looking after each other like brothers and sisters. I hope we can all learn to do that and I hope some of my ideas stick, for the better of all.

    – Ed Costanza
    Tucson resident

    Pedestrians should take responsibility for not walking into bikes

    I’m a responsible bike rider on campus. I use hand signals when turning, respect pedestrians’ right of way and most of the time I use the bike lane. However, I’m fundamentally opposed to walking my bike through areas that are deemed pedestrian only. This is not out of laziness or a general disregard for men on bikes blowing whistles, but out of opposition to a system that seems to be completely hell bent on protecting pedestrians from cyclists and yet offers no protection to cyclists from pedestrians. Pedestrians completely bombard the bike lanes on campus, and unlike cyclists who ride through pedestrian areas, they simply don’t make the effort to be more cautious. If it’s not one person walking seemingly aimlessly while trying to text, it’s certainly Susie Sorority and her eight friends actively engaged in a conversation about the events of late with Chet. Furthermore, these people are completely oblivious to the fact that they are even in a bike lane to begin with so make no attempt to be watchful or get out of the way. The fact is that most pedestrian-bike accidents that occur on campus are due to situationally unaware pedestrians walking through or across bike lanes.

    My safety and the safety of other responsible cyclists around campus is constantly at risk every single time we ride, and yet, when was the last time you saw someone walk in a bike lane and heard a whistle blown, followed by “”No pedestrians in the bike lane!”” or even a posted sign telling pedestrians to stay on the sidewalk? Why is it that the rules that protect pedestrians from cyclists are being enforced when it is the cyclists who are at greatest risk of injury? I will continue to ride by bike through pedestrian only areas, and I urge everyone who rides their bikes through campus to do the same until the day comes when our safety becomes just as important, and just as worth protecting, as our walking counterparts.

    – Katelyn Leese
    anthropology senior

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