To the editor:
Is Lawrence, Kansas a bicycle-friendly community? I have questioned this lately. The city of Lawrence has done a wonderful job of promoting bicycle awareness and safety. For years, citizens have seen the green road signs designating some of the less traveled side streets as part of a "bike route." The Lawrence trafficway paved 10-mile recreation trail has seen not only walkers, in-line skaters, runners, but also the repetitive pedaling of bicycle wheels. Two years ago, new road signs were placed all around Lawrence with a car and a bicycle next to each other and the words "Share the Road" underneath.
One would think this would prompt motorists to be careful, kind and courteous when approaching a bicycle along the road. Unfortunately, I experienced an incident in which someone yelled "get on the sidewalk" and after I replied "did you see the share the road sign?", she responded with a few choice words. Also, many near-misses from cars, trucks and large vehicles passing me have made my knees go weak.
What I realize is that the ATTITUDE of the car driver is what makes the difference. Can the external bicycle awareness attempts affect internal individual human attitudes? What can the Lawrence community do to support the safety of cyclists?