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Metro's bike-share program won't work without safer streets to ride on

Metro's bike-share program won't work without safer streets to ride on
Metro bikes rest at a docking station outside Pasadena City Hall on July 30. (Los Angeles Times)

To the editor: Regarding Pasadena’s withdrawal from Metro’s bike-share program, I certainly agree that economic factors play a major part in any such system’s success or failure.

However, not mentioned is the fact that bicycle commuting in the Greater L.A. area will remain well below its potential due to unsafe streets. The road infrastructure here was built under a “cars only” mentality, and any attempt to add bicycle lanes and pedestrian safety features is met with great resistance by entitled drivers. The utter failure of Los Angeles’ Vision Zero plan, which seeks to eliminate traffic fatalities, is a perfect example.

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There are many more people who would use bike-share programs and other transportation alternatives if they didn’t have to fear for their lives by doing so.

Build safer infrastructure, and they will come. Portland, Colorado Springs, Chicago and New York are way ahead of Los Angeles when it comes to investing in bike-friendly streets and routes.

Mike Sovich, Glendale

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To the editor: The city of Pasadena’s expenditure of more than $2 million on this failed bike-share program is emblematic of a trend in government at all levels.

Politicians spend taxpayer dollars on what they think we should have instead of what we actually want. These initiatives take money away from programs to address our out-of-control homelessness problem, crumbling infrastructure and 100-year-old failing water pipes. Of course, these issues are not as sexy as efforts that allow politicians to proclaim they are helping us to “go green.”

There was a big media event in Pasadena when the bike-share program was rolled out. It would only be fair to hold another such event wherein those in the city responsible for this debacle hang their heads in shame and apologize for wasting our money.

They’ll never feel the embarrassment they should, however, and as a result, we’ll soon see their next great ideas, no doubt involving more “road diets.”

Andrew Harvey, Pasadena

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