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Readers React: How to encourage drivers to get out of their cars

A bicyclist gestures towards a car trying to make a turn through a group during the busy morning commute along Market Street in San Francisco.
A bicyclist gestures towards a car trying to make a turn through a group during the busy morning commute along Market Street in San Francisco.
(Los Angeles Times)

To the editor: While I agree we don’t need a “war on motorists,” we do need to prod drivers into abandoning their cars. Otherwise, they just won’t do it. (“Sharing the roads in L.A.,” Editorial, Oct. 19)

Lowering our dependence on foreign oil or stopping global warming just won’t motivate most motorists. We need to hit people in the areas that matter most: time and money. This is accomplished by making driving less attractive and making alternative forms more cost-effective, time-saving and convenient.

Bus lanes, bikeways, gas taxes, higher parking costs, one-way streets and other measures make driving less attractive. Buses that move, bikeways that are safe and public transportation that goes where you need it for a reasonable fee are all ways to tip the scale.

Yes, the majority of citizens are still drivers. And if we go with the majority instead of leading, we will never get people out of their cars.

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Andrew Tilles, Studio City

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To the editor: I found your editorial on San Francisco’s Measure L, which would roll back many of the gains that city has achieved in making its streets safer for pedestrians and bicyclists, disappointing and needlessly inflammatory. Your “war on motorists” rhetoric makes pedestrians and cyclists the target of the ire of drivers.

This is not an abstract issue; it is personal to me. When I am lawfully riding my bike and I am yet again the victim of a driver’s misplaced and potentially deadly (to me) road rage, will you take responsibility for needlessly inflaming public opinion against cyclists?

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Tell me, this year in Los Angeles, how many motorists have been killed by bicyclists or pedestrians? Conversely, how many bicyclists and pedestrians have been killed by motorists? Indeed, in the very same issue of your paper was yet another notice of a pedestrian killed by a hit-and-run driver.

War on motorists? You have it backward.

John Lloyd, Sierra Madre

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To the editor: I’ve read dozens of articles on making neighborhoods more “walkable,” but I’ve yet to find one that deals with the impact of these policies on disabled people. Could a future article explore the issue of what is being done to address this concern?

Whenever I read about “walkable neighborhoods,” I interpret it as “another area inaccessible to me.”

Kathleen Resch, Temple City

Follow the Opinion section on Twitter @latimesopinion

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