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Northwest Voices

Seattle Times letters to the editor

July 16, 2013 at 11:22 AM

Bicycles in Seattle

Editorial was delusional

John Pucher, famed Rutgers professor and scholar of bike safety and bikeable cities, rides down Dexter Ave. N. with Robin Randels of Seattle during a recent visit to Seattle. [Ellen M. Banner, The Seattle Times.]

John Pucher, famed Rutgers professor and scholar of bike safety and bikeable cities, rides down Dexter Ave. N. with Robin Randels of Seattle during a recent visit to Seattle. [Ellen M. Banner, The Seattle Times.]

I just read John Pucher’s guest column, and I must make two points. [“Building a bicycling renaissance in Seattle,” Opinion, July 14.]

First of all, maybe Pucher should read the letter in the next column of the paper that day. [“Northwest Voices: Bicycle Safety,” Opinion, July 14.]

Secondly, where does he get off saying 60 percent of Seattleites want to ride bikes?

If anybody truly believe people — en masse — are going to give up their cars, they are delusional and should be riding bicycles so they won’t hurt anybody with a car.

Gordon Knuth, Seattle

Contrasting views

Those were very interesting pieces in Sunday’s Opinion section.

One was positive, with constructive ideas on how to promote bike-riding and make biking safer and easier for all ages and genders.

The other piece, a letter to the editor, was the more negative and confrontational side, suggesting taxing and registering all bikes so we can tattle to the police.

What a contrast.

I’m OK with the taxing to help improve bike lanes that John Pucher suggests, which actually could be accomplished when a bike is sold; maybe an additional 10 percent tax on all bike sales could go exclusively to providing greenways for bikes. I could see many bike riders and bike shops being in favor of a tax for this purpose.

However, I find it ironic that we would require bike registration when bikes harm no one other than the bike rider if there is an accident, yet not require registration of hand guns, which have the sole purpose of harming or killing others.

John Whitmore, Maple Valley

Bikes must be regulated for cyclists’ safety

Not only do bicycles need licenses, but the riders also need to have some proof that they have passed a test on the rules of the road, in addition to paying a fee for the privilege.

How about requiring insurance? If bicyclers want the same rights as drivers and want to share the road with them, then they need to accept the same responsibilities.

Then there is the issue of real safety helmets, not little aerodynamic riding caps. Effective lights, sturdy frames; all of these things are codified on other vehicles that use the roads. Why not bicycles, which are by far more vulnerable?

Life for a bicycler was simple when they used off-street trails and the empty streets of the suburbs, but it has to change when so many of them now share the highways and busy streets of cities.

Susan Terry, Seattle

Comments | More in Seattle, Transportation | Topics: bicycles, bikers, bikes

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