To the editor:
I salute Chuck Soules and the Lawrence Public Works Department for adding bicycle lanes in their latest improvements to some of our city streets. While these improvements are much appreciated, much more could be done.
Consider what Lawrence would be like as a town that put bicycling (and walking) on an equal footing with cars. We could build a system of trails for bicycles and pedestrians that would make it possible to get downtown or to schools with safe crossings on Sixth Street, 23rd Street and Iowa. People of all ages would be able to exercise while going to work, school or out to a restaurant. Bike trails would put Lawrence on the map in terms of energy conservation and make the town more attractive to a younger generation of innovators.
A commitment to cycling constitutes a radical challenge to the status quo, but if we are serious about considering ways to revitalize our community and encourage healthy lifestyles then we need to find a way to leave our houses without hopping into a car. Sure, it’s hot out there right now, but any cyclist will tell you that it’s much more pleasant riding or walking in the older parts of town than in the newer additions.
I am confident our best and brightest could expand the system of trails so that anyone in town would have access to a cheap transportation alternative with important health benefits. Alternatively, we can coast along and continue to encourage our citizens to drive themselves into an early grave.