Bicycling in Delaware: Point/Counterpoint

Bike paths needed

Bicycling in Delaware — well, duh?

So, all of a sudden Delaware has figured it is flat and ideal for bikers. I’m not talking about the bright-colored Spandex-wearing muscled calves here, but 7- or 8-year-old Johnny, or 70- or 80-year-old Oma. We should cover the state in bike paths – and not on highways!

Like a circular path around Dover, which the city is working on, finally. This is not my first rant about this. In the ’90s, [I submitted] letters to The News Journal and the Delaware State News, comments at DelDOT planning meetings, and inputs to county, city and state transportation plans. OK, sorry, enough “I told you sos.”

Now, point of this comment. Lastweekend was all about Bike to Bay, Amish Bike Tour, et al. So, why not every weekend, especially in the shoulder seasons, bike tours, until Delaware becomes the East Coast biking destination? Talk about attracting more tourists. How about an off-highway path from Wilmington to Fenwick Island, with overnight stops, like in Smyrna, Magnolia, Milford, Milton, Bethany Beach, etc.? Too bad we missed the East Coast Greenway. I mean, it should have gone down Delmarva, instead of over Baltimore, Washington, D.C., in my humble opinion.

What is not so evident are the benefits to us as Delaware residents — more jobs, paths for our own use, exercise, less auto mileage, and therefore, auto/gas savings and pollution reduction, and just plain fun for Johnny and Oma.

Those responsible: The state bike coordinator, with county, and then, city planners, think big on bikes! Then, next, pull together all the little bike shops – wonder who is selling the new electric bikes?

Jerome “Jerry” Emerson
Dover

Bicycle lanes not safe

Bicycle-friendly Delaware. Really? In regards to yet another cyclist hit by a car here in Delaware riding in a bike lane in Dover.

Bike lanes located in roads where powerful vehicles weighing thousands of pounds whiz by at 45 mph where only a painted line a micron thick “protects” a person who THINKS that will protect them. Really?

There is no way I would ride a tiny piece of steel and plastic on a road like U.S. 13, or any road, for that matter, especially on country roads where there are many blind curves that thousands of pounds of rolling steel whiz around and race down.

You say, “But bicycles have every right to ride on the roads.” Yes, they do, but I will not do it. No way. I value my life and limb too much. When a person decides that it is safe to ride in a lane just because it is marked off with a painted line, then, those persons do not value their lives or limbs. Cars and trucks are constantly being navigated and maneuvered by people who are distracted, and that li’l ol’ line is not going to stop that monster from running you over.

I believe that these bike lanes in these roadways should be removed because it is giving people who do not have enough common sense nor fortitude the belief that they are on a safe piece of pavement. That is far from the truth. All you have to do is look at the number of cyclists who have been killed or badly injured here in Delaware this year.

Many of these people thought they were safe because they were riding in a bike lane. I guess, sadly, they found out they were wrong and that the people who approved of these lanes simply to say they made Delaware bicycle-friendly were also wrong.

Common sense has been lost by people and those who create laws. When common sense returns, these stupid laws for bike lanes will be rescinded, hopefully. I will not hold my breath on that one.

Don Garrard
Harrington

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