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Northwest Voices

Seattle Times letters to the editor

June 28, 2013 at 6:30 PM

Biking in Seattle

Bicyclists need to be licensed

Bikers use the new "cycle track" on Linden Avenue North from North 130th Street, a bike path that separates bikers from parked cars and the sidewalk, making for a safer ride. [Mike Siegel, The Seattle Times.]

Bikers use the new “cycle track” on Linden Avenue North from North 130th Street, a bike path that separates bikers from parked cars and the sidewalk, making for a safer ride. [Mike Siegel, The Seattle Times.]

I commuted to work via bus and foot for seven years. Seattle is a great walking city, and the bus service is good. [“Worse than Manhattan?” page one, June 26.]

When John Pucher says “I almost got killed five or six times,” he should try being a pedestrian in Seattle. I’ve nearly gotten hit many times when I’ve been on foot, and it’s usually been by bicyclists who weren’t paying attention.

Mayor Mike McGinn will likely use this “rattled” man’s bike ride to appeal for more funds for his favorite special-interest group, bicyclists.

How about getting funds for continued bike projects by requiring bicycle licenses (and tests on the rules of the road), like all other vehicles that use Seattle streets?

Nancy Groceman, Belfair

Bike riders need to step up and pay

Seattle and King County are spending millions for bike lanes and trails.

Auto lanes and parking are being negatively impacted. There doesn’t seem to be money to fix or maintain roads.

I propose a 25 percent sales tax on the purchase of bicycles, to give the users of the special bike accommodations the opportunity to participate in paying for them. Cyclists should also have the opportunity to purchase licenses for their bikes and to buy an annual renewal tab for it, just like car owners do.

Clydia Pappenfus, Shoreline

Bikes are a 19th-century solution to 21st-century problems

When the provision of amenities for bikes began, the reasoning was that carbon emissions and traffic congestion would be reduced. Neither has happened.

I have worked on Dexter Avenue North for decades, and the addition of bike lanes, bus islands and the consequential reduction of automobile lanes have brought about an incredible increase in slowdowns and congestion. These findings are there for all to see.

The biking community and the city no longer talk about carbon emissions or congestion; now, it’s bike safety.

Daily observation on Dexter Avenue North clearly shows that bicycles are a step backward, a 19th-century solution to 21st-century problems. We should be preparing to implement new technology, not fantasizing about what is happening in other, topographically different cities.

Aside from a taxpayer-funded exercise program, what is the justification for these accommodations?

Hugh Brannon, Seattle

Comments | More in Seattle, Transportation | Topics: bicycle, bicycling, bike

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