Accommodating bicycles is just smart

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From what I hear and see and read, we in Columbia County and our neighbors in the CSRA are not a very bicycle-friendly community.

Obviously bicycling is one of the healthiest family activities. With our population being nearly 50 percent overweight, we and our shortsighted politicians should strongly promote bicycle and walking paths.

With congressional approval ratings at 13 percent, do you expect strong commonsense leadership?

Cyclists have every right to use our roads and should be encouraged and protected -- certainly they are taxpayers too. Do SUV drivers know their gas taxes fall 35 percent short of maintaining the road and bridge infrastructure in our state? Wait until gas prices go to $ 6 a gallon -- maybe the Brits are not smarter than we are, but they drive a nice station wagon with a turbo charged Diesel getting 44 mpg.

We should assess our community's biking infrastructure. Do we have any connected network of street bike lanes? Do public buildings and others offer bike parking? Do we have maps showing interconnected bike ways?

Wake up, people, and give the smart bikers every courtesy you can.

S.G. von Schweinitz

Appling

Comments (7) Add comment
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SuZQ
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SuZQ 12/28/10 - 09:09 am
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THANK YOU! Finally, a letter

THANK YOU! Finally, a letter that makes sense. Thank you very much!

nadps53jrt
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nadps53jrt 12/28/10 - 11:21 am
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What does an SUV have

What does an SUV have anything to do with it?
I have no problem with bicyclist but I do have a problem with them being in the middle of the road especially when it is a curvy-hilly road. And yes I have seen this as I was going home from Hwy.28 in SC to Martintown Rd. 2 bikers, male and female. She was riding just outside of white line he was in the middle of the lane. Very dangerous.
These people pay taxes but not road taxes for those vehicles. If they want rights, make them pay taxes on those bikes and have a licence plate and insurance put on them. Only road taxes they pay are for their vehicles.

paulwheeler
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paulwheeler 12/28/10 - 11:59 am
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It's the same for people

It's the same for people walking on the side of the road...by golly if they want rights make them pay a tax and wear a license plate on their rear end if they want to use that road for something other than riding in a motorized vehicle. The roads belong to motorized vehicles and nothing else. God bless gasoline.

mable8
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mable8 12/28/10 - 01:24 pm
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I DO give bikers every

I DO give bikers every courtesy on the road; however, many do not reciprocate and cause a very hazardous situation. Road courtesy is not simply confined to the motorist--courtesy goes both ways. So, to turn your phrase: give the drivers every courtesy you can.

JesusIsComing
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JesusIsComing 12/28/10 - 03:04 pm
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Having the right to do

Having the right to do something is not the same as being right in doing it. When I drive down the road and an idiot crosses into my lane, I will swerve out of the way EVERY time because I don't want to have an accident. I am fully right in keeping to my lane and the other driver is fully wrong in what he or she is doing. BUT it would be foolish of me to risk a head-on crash to prove my point. This point is especially salient to bike riders, whose vehicles are outweighed by 1500 pounds or so at least. Bike riders need to look out for themselves and avoid all vehicles large enough to kill them. Unfortunately, I see such riders who demand their equal rights as "sharers of the road" zip by me on the right at a stop sign or light and then run that stop sign or light because they can get away with it. "Wake up, . . . smart bikers" and give vehicles "every courtesy you can".

jammelher
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jammelher 12/28/10 - 09:27 pm
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The roads are for all modes

The roads are for all modes of ground transportation. If more folks use bicycles when they can, nearly everyone benefits. Not just the biker. I totally agree with von Schweinitz, we need to make our infrastructure more bicycle friendly. EVERYONE benefits. I am an avid motorist and bicycle rider. I see inaccurate generalizations about bicyclists in the prior four comments though certainly there are examples of the described behavior to be found. When I am on my bike (riding within one foot of the road edge line) most cars and trucks give adequate space as they pass. A segment of the population is either numb to the responsibility of driving or is trying to get a little thrill by buzzing close by. What pathetic lives the latter must lead....

Bicycling
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Bicycling 12/28/10 - 11:59 pm
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Nice letter SGvS! Bicycling

Nice letter SGvS! Bicycling IS healthy, creates no pollution, no wear and tear on the roads. Plus it's fun and gets you outside to enjoy the day. There is great camaraderie that develops with other cyclists. For the most part, those in vehicles are very respectful of cyclists and the reverse is very true of cyclists toward motorists. There are bad apples in both bunches which unfortunately are being grossly exaggerated in these comment sections. The thing everyone should remember is that if a cyclist is "inconsiderate" it will slow a motorist down a few seconds - maybe even a minute. If a motorist is inconsiderate, it may cost a cyclist their life.

Being on the road is dangerous enough (even when I'm driving) with all the eating in the car, puting on makeup, talking on their phones, not to mention the elderly or road construction vehicles who may drive 10-15 mph slower than the rest of traffic. You don't hear or see motorists trying to run these people off the road, so why some feel this is important to do to cyclists is beyond comprehension.

To echo SGvS, there should be continuous cycling lanes all around town to help facilitate the safety of riding for cyclists. This will also allow motorists to pass unimpeded and promote healthy activity in the Augusta community.

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