Advocacy & Safety - I wrote a letter to the newspaper...
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05-29-08, 07:25 AM
A few weeks ago they did a segment on bike safety, showing all the hand signals, blah blah blah. It occurred to me that every time the media here does a story on bicycles, it's about how to be a safe cyclist. While that's important, I think it's about time motorists were informed of what the rights of cyclists are under the law. (I AM ALLOWED TO TAKE THE LANE!) So I wrote the paper and told them I thought so. We'll see what happens.
Anyone had any success with something like that?
Good work, TXChick. Please post or paraphrase your letter. Yes, several of us in the San Diego County Bicycle Coalition are pretty regular writers of letters to the editor. I specialize in counterattack letters, responding to clueless motorists who write letters advocating everything from "streets are for cars" to "bicyclists should ride against the flow of traffic, so that they can get out the way" to "the city should not have wasted $1M on bike lanes along Via de la Valle [popular narrow 2-laner, posted 55mph]."
05-29-08, 08:03 AM
Oh let's see...I didn't keep a copy.
I said something to the effect of I saw their feature on bicycle safety and while I appreciated their efforts to keep cyclists safe, one very important way of doing that would be to educate motorists. I suggested they do a feature for drivers, asked that it include state laws and local ordinances that state bicycles are vehicles, that bicycles are allowed to be on the road, etc. Anyway, I suggested they do a feature on that, especially since rising gas prices could lead to more cyclists. I can't remember everything. I should have kept it.
05-29-08, 08:34 AM
I've been on an emailing binge lately.
I emailed Walgreen's about their lack of bike racks. The response says they don't have bike racks because "no one uses them." They say they'll consider installing some.
We have a local grocery store that bills itself as environmentally friendly, free trade, organic, etc. They give you discounts if you bring your own bags or use their cloth bags, they have huge recycling bins in their parking lots...and no bike racks. Luckily their trees are pretty new and so there are always bikes chained to the trees. I tried to use my u-lock on a fence next to their outdoor eating area and an employee told me I wasn't allowed to leave my bike there. I emailed them and was told "no one uses bike racks." No, they don't, BECAUSE THERE ISN'T ONE. THEY'RE USING TREES! :crash:
05-29-08, 08:39 AM
Keep up the good "fight", TXChick, and keep us posted. I, for one, am very interested in the results you get. I've been thinking of doing the same thing here on the Gulf Coast, especially after recently spending a week in the Seattle and Bothell, WA area.
05-29-08, 08:50 AM
I've been to Biloxi. It was nice. :)
05-30-08, 11:31 AM
one very important way of doing that would be to educate motorists. I suggested they do a feature for drivers, asked that it include state laws and local ordinances that state bicycles are vehicles, that bicycles are allowed to be on the road, etc.
The writer (and editor) should have been more responsible. I published one of those (educational articles) recently. I must say I had to exercise restraint to keep from scolding drivers, but rather to educate them.
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