Bob Levey {Oct. 27} makes the demand that we "get bike messengers off downtown streets. Get them off now." And he makes it twice. He does not, however, propose a solution to this problem of, as he sees it, people on bicycles preying on innocent pedestrians and motorists who happen to get in the way. Is Mr. Levey suggesting we give messengers cab fare, bus fare or cars? Or is he suggesting we just break their knees? We certainly cannot eliminate the service. If it weren't vital to Washington, there wouldn't be so many of these barbarians biking amok on our streets.

The other day my son Jim left for work from our home at 7:30 a.m. It was a rotten day, cold and dark, and it was pouring. After reading Mr. Levey's column that day, I was more than normally concerned by what Jim's day would prove. He recently returned from a four-year tour of duty with the Marine Corps. He was stationed in, among other places, the Philippines. He knows danger and is in great shape; both qualities stand him in good stead. He is bridging the gap between discharge and college by working as a -- you guessed it -- bike messenger in the District.

Though my heart goes out to Jo Hinkel and S. Christine Pirkle, who Mr. Levey said were victimized by couriers, my heart also goes out to my son. If Mr. Levey wants horror stories, Jim's got 'em. Bike messengers are held in such low regard in the District that many motorists think nothing of hitting them. And it happens all the time. If nothing is broken and no blood is visible, the motorist doesn't speed away -- he usually sticks around just long enough to blame the felled cyclist for the mishap.

Yes, I have encountered rude, irresponsible, pushy couriers. But more often, the encounter has been with rude, irresponsible, dangerous taxi drivers, limo drivers, Metrobus drivers, Hill staff drivers, police car drivers and just plain drivers.

In the industry in which I work, we use messengers every day. I really don't know what we would do without them. If Mr. Levey actually got out there and met with the messengers instead of taking irresponsible potshots from his typewriter, he might realize that most are decent young men and women who not only do not think they're above the law, as he stated, but are just trying to earn a living and doing it in a very hardway.

Jim biked home the other night soaked to the skin and totally frustrated by the treatment he had yet again received at the hands and mouths of citizens supposedly more law abiding than he and announced he's moving to California. Joke or no joke, I'm tempted to encourage this move. I'm very afraid that Mr. Levey's "get them off now" cry is going to make Washington, D.C., a horrifyingly dangerous place for every messenger on a bicycle. SUE KENNEDY Washington