Editor: I have asked various bike riders for their views on certain safety issues. Let me begin with the questions:
Q. Why do many bikes ride directly on the white line of the bike lane rather than within the lane?
A. Debris can be seen and avoided.
Q. How many bike riders use rear-view mirrors?
A. About 20 percent, until you have been hit, then everyone does.
Based on the foregoing, one might ask: Why not put the white line of the bike lane in the middle so debris could readily be seen, and double yellow lines on the outside to delineate the lane, thus encouraging both the bikes and the autos to stay out of each other's lanes?
A rear-view mirror for a bike is available for $10 to $20, and should be a mandated piece of safety equipment.
Just as we have licensing of cars where a minimum level of competence is required, isn't it time we require the same for bike riders? Falls account for 59 percent of all crashes, running into a fixed object 14 percent, moving motor vehicles were involved in 11 percent, and another bicycle in 9 percent.
Even when the bike rider falls down with no cars involved, the answer proposed is to lower the speed limit for cars, or posting signs to "share the road." I don't think that cars should share the bike lane, and bikes should only share the traffic lane with an abundance of caution.
(The above letter to the editor by Bruce Campbell was published in the Almanac's Aug. 22 edition.)