Letter to the Editor: Bike Paths on Highways – What are we thinking?

DelDOT, guess what the survival rate is between a bicycle rider and a car or 18-wheeler versus the survival rate between a bicycle rider and a pedestrian?

I think putting bicycle riders out there on our highways, when paved trails or sidewalks are available, is just horrible. I don’t mean the spandex wearing, long distant, competitive bike racer, but rather the weekend recreational family or even the ride-to-work casual rider.

Who in their right mind would put their child, or themselves, out there beside cars and trucks whizzing by at 60, 55 or even 35 mph? And furthermore, what is wrong with bikes on sidewalks in Lewis, South Bethany and Bethany Beach, who have marked their sidewalks NO BIKES?

This is even worse than the beautiful bike bridge over the St. Jones, here in Dover, which leads to the Gateway South shopping center while their parking lot is marked No Bikes.

In Europe pedestrians and bikes share walkways/trails without a problem. Walkers know to move to the right when they here a slight ding (bell) behind them, and they do so without missing a step or without a pause in their conversation. Many area laws require bells on bikes for just this reason. Just a little education and bikers and walkers will catch on quickly.

If Delaware wants to encourage biking, and we should, we need to seriously look at providing safer paths for casual bikers. And there are so many reasons for doing so; safety, a healthy recreation source, alternate transportation, our flatness, a magnet for tourists, a relief to traffic congestion, just plan fun, creation of small bike shops, outdoor dining with bike racks, etc. etc.

Jerry Emerson

Dover

 

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