To the editor:
I've been tracking the recent letters concerning cyclists and motorists on our city streets and byways. Maybe if everyone involved would apply a little more of the Golden Rule and we had less accusing, excusing, complaining and explaining, things might be a little safer for everyone concerned. I do want to share a few observations I've made over the past few years.
I worked in Topeka for several years and commuted on a daily basis. It was refreshing upon reaching the city limits of our capital to not worry about constantly looking out for cyclists while driving through business as well as, residential areas. Topeka has numerous bike paths throughout their city's parks and small lake areas. Also, the pedestrian paths downtown are observed by everyone walking and driving. Motorists are very courteous and observant to those using the crosswalks. That's probably because the pedestrians are very courteous to USE the crosswalks. I don't know what Topeka's secret is, but maybe we should try to find out.
Mr. Dick Walker's concerns are very real and I sympathize with him. Numerous times, both inside and outside the city limits of Lawrence, I've come upon cyclists bunched up across the road. A two-lane blacktop such as South Louisiana is a good example. The cyclists will even look over their shoulders at you and make no attempt to form a single file so that you may pass safely. Just the other evening at dusk, as I pulled onto Alabama from a parking lot driveway, I observed a family of cyclists, which included two small children. Everyone in the group was helmeted, but had no reflective clothing or reflectors on the bikes. They also rode down off the curbing between two parked cars to cross the street. Not very good habits to teach young cyclists, in my opinion.
So whom do we blame when someone gets hurt, or worse? How about if everyone follows the rules governing the particular mode of transportation they happen to be using? How about a little less snobbery and a little more common courtesy? Oh yeah, then there's that Golden Rule thing.