I write in response to Sandi Cain’s letter, Sept. 30.
I hope to reduce friction between motorists and cyclists and make a few points. I’m sure that Sandi isn’t alone in his/her views but they do seem to me a little misguided.
“Have we arrived at a point when only a tiny percent of folks in this town hold jobs that require them to work outside the city?”
I cycle regularly as a means of transport. Most of my work is outside of Laguna Beach. Granted I do not have a long commute. Normally I cycle to Newport Beach or Irvine and round Laguna Beach. During the summer months I consider it an act of a crazy person to drive downtown. On a bike, I have no traffic congestion or parking problems. I can park my bike right outside the bank, the post office, etc., even on the busiest summer day. It is easy and hassle free, unlike taking a car.
“Do the vast majority have so much time on their hands they can walk or bike to complete all their errands?”
I never have enough time in the day; it’s for this very reason I cycle downtown to do my errands. Cars don’t maintain a high average speed in urban areas, combine that with finding parking and then walking from the parking spot to the store, a bike is faster.
“When the bicycle crowd starts to pay its fair share of road maintenance…”
I like cars but cycling is often the best option. I pay more than my fair share toward road maintenance. I have two cars, a Toyota as a regular driver and an old Alfa Romeo, which comes out once in a while and drives less than 1,000 miles a year. I pay my way. In fact I’m subsidizing car drivers that drive many miles when I’m cycling! I don’t know anyone in Laguna Beach who cycles and does not own a car.
“scream at motorists for merely trying to edge past them.”
Edging past – bad idea. Please give cyclists wobble room. My understanding is that by law a motorist must allow five feet when passing cyclists. I have had motorists cut very close and it’s scary. When cyclists and motorists collide the cyclist is often seriously injured or killed and the motorist has to live with that.
Cyclists, don’t ride two or more abreast through town; you are putting yourselves at risk and alienating cyclist and motorists.
I know I’m milking it a bit here but one could argue that a cyclist that leaves the car at home and cycles to the shops or work are extremely selfless people. They are reducing dependency on foreign oil and so the trade deficit. They are reducing traffic congestion, emit no air or noise pollution and free up parking spaces. They do all this while risking their own lives! Let’s face it. Cyclists are like super heroes; they even wear tight clothes. Maybe I will get myself a cape!
Lets all get along.
Max Isles, Laguna Beach