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Letter: Bicycle use lessens vehicle traffic

Re: “Bikes have made the street unsafe,” Mailbag, Sept.10. The bikeway doesn’t slow traffic, it speeds it up by allowing bicyclists to travel to the right of the motor vehicle lane. Bicycles are considered vehicles under state law, and the cyclist has to follow all motor vehicle laws. That means that left turns can only be made from the left side of the traffic lane, bikes cannot cross intersections via crosswalks (anymore than you drive your car through a crosswalk to cross an intersection), and they are not supposed to ride on sidewalks (though Burbank allows this as long as the bicyclist doesn’t imperil a pedestrian).

Virtually every lane of traffic is a bike lane at some time. My favorite example is westbound at “Five Points,” where Victory and Burbank boulevards merge. The cyclist must be in the curb lane to turn up the bridge, the No. 2 lane to proceed onto Victory Place, the No. 4 lane to proceed left on West Victory Boulevard, and the No. 5 lane to make a left turn down Burbank Boulevard. The law requires that four of the five lanes must be used by bicyclists, and the No. 3 lane needs to be crossed to reach lanes 4 and 5.

Bikes don’t impede traffic, they reduce the number of vehicles on the road and actually reduce congestion.

Larry Marak
Burbank

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