Bike Lane Concerns

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To the Editor:
It warms my heart to know that our officials, together with Transportation Alternatives, are working hard to be sure that all bikers will be free from harm when riding in and with their helmets (“Changing Lanes,” Nov. 12). Perhaps they can spare a bit of kindness toward the pedestrians who do not wear helmets and continue to dodge—even in the —crazy bikers who are still going through lights and against the traffic, or not. It’s time that all bikers are licensed. What is the problem? How else can we identify and control them? When they are fined, they might wake up. Is there anyone out there in an official capacity who cares whether or not pedestrians are hurt? Can’t this compassion be spread a little toward those of us who do not have a feeling of safety crossing the street anywhere?
Bunny Abraham
Central Park West
To the Editor:
Bicycles, pedestrians and vehicles… why can’t we all get along? (“Changing Lanes,” Nov. 12.) The need to reduce traffic and pollution is unquestioned. But it seems that city officials have made up their minds with little concern for what works in a neighborhood.
It is true that smaller cities in Europe like Copenhagen have been successful with these programs. But even Paris’ “Velo libre” (free bikes) has been subject to theft and destruction of the bikes in outlying areas.
A bicycle is not a transportation solution for all. When bicycle lanes appeared almost overnight, “blindsided” neighbors found their streets had become bicycle thoroughfares. It seems that the Department of Transportation kept notification to a minimum to avoid confrontation. Since their installation, bike lanes have been primarily occupied by groups of tourists on rental bikes.
Finally, businesses already struggle. Pushing them farther from street view and making them responsible for the cleanup of more sidewalk space does not seem the answer.
There appears to be a plan to leave old meter poles (replaced by Muni Meters) in place to be used as bike racks. Currently, they are occupied by various take-out restaurants to park bikes overnight.
Bicycles want the same protection as motorists without the responsibilities of a license, insurance and registration. Let’s give bikers the protection but without a white line dividing us.

Letters have been edited for clarity, style and brevity.

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