Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Bikes are VEHICLES

Dear [Civic Association I belong to],

There is a wonderful walking path on X Street between Y and Z Streets. I, like many residents, walk my dog there frequently. (And I, like MOST but sadly, not ALL dog walkers, pick up after my pet. The lazy few who think it's OK to leave cleanup duties to the Caca Fairy are the rant fodder for another day.)

My dog loves the walking path. Sometimes, she can't decide which side she wants to walk on, left or right, so she runs back and forth between the two as we walk.

And therein lies the problem. Because along with the people who walk, jog, and take their pets on the WALKING path, we are competing with BICYCLES. More than once, I have been nearly run down from behind as I follow my dog from left to right and back again. I do my best to stay behind the dog at all times, specifically *because* of the bikes that could come speeding up from behind at any moment. My dog weighs only 6 pounds, so I'd rather a bike hit me than hurt (or worse) my dog. But better still would be if we were free from the concern of being struck by a bike while utilizing the walking path.

Bicycles are vehicles that belong IN THE STREET. I should not have to be taking preventative measures to protect my dog from them while we are walking ON THE SIDEWALK. I finally had my "this is the last straw" moment last night after one too many near-misses, so I am writing to you.

Along with the existing signage urging people to pick up after their pets, we need signage instructing bicyclists to ride in the street, not on the sidewalk. And then, even better, I would love to see the police enforce both rules. With the number of infractions I regularly witness, we could collect enough fines to wipe out the city budget deficit.

I am not anti-bicycle. But I am anti-dodging-vehicles-on-sidewalks. Something can, and must, be done.


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