Although I totally agree that some folks on bicycles are reckless, I totally disagree with the notion that bicyclists should obey all the traffic signs designed for cars [Debating cyclists' place on the road in Oak Park, Viewpoints, Sept. 15].
My suspicion is that these protest letters are written by my fellow citizens who have not enjoyed a good bike ride since the third grade. If they had, they would realize how difficult it is to come to a dead stop at a stop sign and then start up your bike again, as opposed to looking both ways, slowing down and proceeding if safe (especially with knees that have outlived their warranty).
It is in the best interest of the person on the bike to pedal defensively, as most drivers, in my experience, are either on their cell phone, texting or speeding. The first and only three rules for bikers should be: wear a helmet; use consideration, common sense and a bell; and never assume a driver sees you.
I've been reading letters concerning bicyclists in Oak Park for the past several years, and always had to chuckle at the indignant tone of motorists' complaints. The recent spate of letters is taking on an increasing belligerent tone, and I feel it's time to voice my opinion.
There are cyclists who don't obey the rules, just as there are as many motorists who are careless. The unfortunate reality is that a bicycle has no chance against a motorist who cuts them off, tries to run them down, ignores stop signs, and refuses to use turn signals. From my vantage point on my bicycle, I'd have to say more drivers are hostile to bicyclists than not.
For those of you who truly do care, I thank you. To those of you who complain, I challenge you to get out of your cars and commute on a bicycle once in a while. The experience will be enlightening! You will also be doing something to curtail greenhouse gases, and getting exercise as well.
The true future is that there will be more and more cyclists in the years to come, and drivers will have to use more care.
Answer Book 2018
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