FILE 2011 / J. GEIL

To the bicyclists out there who are certainly proliferating these days and enjoy the village’s blessing, I beseech you, implore you, to have consideration for the innocent law-abiding pedestrians and drivers.

To the woman who on March 15 about 6:25 p.m. blew through the four-way stop at Kenilworth and Ontario, what were you thinking? I was walking on my way to First United Church and had just stepped from the curb to the street when she sped through the stop, never slowing down at all. She appeared to be a mature woman who should certainly know better. She was wearing a helmet, but I wonder if I need to get some sort of protective gear just to be able to cross the street. If I had been a few steps further along, I could have been seriously injured or even killed. She was going just that fast.

Last June during the time we had a long electrical outage, we drove our car to the store. It was night when we returned to our pitch-black street where there also is a four-way stop. As I waited my turn at the stop, I had just started to make a left-hand turn when my headlights caught a bicyclist riding through the stop sign. She had no lights on her bike and was dressed in dark clothes. There was no way she could have been seen earlier. It gave me quite a fright and I yelled at her, asking how I could be expected to see her. She yelled back that she forgot her lights. That did not explain her failure to stop. Am I to assume now that bicyclists will routinely ignore the rules of the road?

I hear bicyclists say they cannot stop at stop signs or for traffic lights because it slows their momentum. But they simply cannot use that as an excuse to endanger others. These were two blatant examples of seriously irresponsible bicyclists. I like to walk and I should not have to be extremely worried every time I cross a street. I understand there are many careless and dangerous drivers around and we have to be vigilant around them, too. But a car is easier to see and is not usually darting around the street from side to side or riding on sidewalks.

This frequent lack of respect for others by too many bicyclists is a serious issue that needs resolution. I do wonder if the Oak Park police ever ticket bicyclists. Surely it might help.

It will be 48 years in April since we moved to our home in Oak Park. I would like to enjoy some more years.

Denise Wells Palfy is a graduate of Rosary/Dominican. Her two daughters are graduates of Oak Park and River Forest High School.

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