Re "10 speeds to L.A.'s future," Column, Feb. 5
Kudos to Steve Lopez for giving bicycle commuting a try.
I started using my bike when gas hit $4.50 a gallon (the first time). It was a little nerve-racking as I dealt with drivers who didn't seem to notice me. I started wearing loud colors, got lights for my bike and persevered. I found a few safer routes and kept a schedule. Many of the regular drivers recognize me on my way.
I obey the laws, signal my turns, stop at stop signs and lights, and don't weave in and out of traffic.
Sadly, there are still too many drivers who do not recognize my right to ride my bike. Others are too distracted to pay cyclists any heed.
We all pay taxes, and we all share the roads. Just like Lopez, I simply don't want to die on the way to my destination.
So, car drivers, please give us a break. Thank you.
Donna L. DaVanzo
Lopez doesn't address the needs of a vast swath of Angelenos. They are called pedestrians.
Just as Lopez is afraid while riding his bike on L.A.'s streets, I am often afraid of walking on sidewalks out of fear a cyclist will run me over. I have come close to being hit more times than I can count.
During the recent CicLAvia that ran down Venice Boulevard, I was looking forward to walking a few blocks without that fear. Cyclists had the entire road, I reasoned, so why would they need the sidewalks? Turned out there were enough cyclists who felt they needed the sidewalks that I turned around and returned to my apartment.
So when Lopez says that when he's riding on four wheels he'll make sure to share the road with those on two, I would add that I hope that anyone with wheels will respectfully share the roads and sidewalks with those having no wheels at all.
Thanks to Lopez for pushing a bolder vision for cycling in sunny Los Angeles. I love to bike, but it is frankly terrifying to do it in L.A., even in my mid-city neighborhood.
It's not just the traffic that makes me tremble, it's the sorry state of the pavement, full of cracks and potholes that grab my skinny road-bike tires and threaten to throw me over the handlebars.
Painting a stripe and the words "bike lane" over trench-riddled asphalt is a deadly joke.
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