The Point of Bike Paths

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Monday, January 21, 2008

In his Jan. 16 letter, Gunther Stern issued a plea for drivers, cyclists and pedestrians to coexist peacefully but disregarded the basic point of the older drivers' plea to "get on the bike path."

Why was his group of bicyclists riding on the road and not on the bike path? A bike path is aptly named "bike path" because that is where bicyclists should ride. A group of cyclists riding on the road is a danger to drivers and to themselves. Cars have to swerve into the other lane to avoid cyclists and risk getting hit head-on by other cars.

Washington has made considerable effort to ensure that miles of bike paths are available and well maintained, so why do so many cyclists prefer to avoid them and ride on the road and then scoff at drivers who are just trying to be safe?

My family and I often bicycle from Old Town Alexandria to Mount Vernon, and we use the bike paths. It would never occur to me to put my family and drivers using the road at unnecessary risk by riding on the road.

Mr. Stern should try some of our city's bike paths the next time he and his group are out for a ride. I can attest that they are beautiful and safer than the road.



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