2010-11-18 / Letters to the Editor

Bikers should feel safe ‘everywhere’

I would like to address the statement “Who comes up with dumb ideas like this?” concerning the reduced speed limit along Great Creek made in letter to the editor.

I can address the question straight away – I did. I serve with other volunteers on the Jamestown Bike Path Committee. We discussed this idea in earnest in an effort to meet our various goals for island-wide cycling. Part of our mission is safety.

It is our sincere desire to make sure no one is seriously hurt or killed because they rode a bicycle in Jamestown. Our greatest concern is our island children.

I would like to address this statement as a Jamestown cyclist not a committee member. I have been riding on this island almost every day for six years. I feel confident when I say that I have seen it all.

There is no 40 mph on this stretch of road. I have seen island drivers of all stripes fly up and down North Main. It is scary.

When you ride a bicycle anything can happen. A tire can blow, a squirrel or dog can dart out into the street, which sometimes contain a pot hole, black ice, sand or broken glass. These are just a handful of the potential dangers of cycling.

If danger should strike and a cyclist goes down, especially if the cyclist is a child, the hope is that the motorist would have time to react safely.

Cyclists have to stay focused. Many island drivers are on cell phones and texting. They are not only oblivious to me, but they are oblivious to the fact that they are driving down North Main at 70 mph and not paying any attention to what they are doing.

Suggesting that island cyclists are oblivious on the road is simply not true. I can assure you that we are constantly paying attention to every bit of traffic. Why? Because we don’t want to be killed.

My love for cycling in Jamestown has given me much more than this astounding appreciation for the magnitude of natural beauty this island lays out at our doorsteps every day. When I ride to the north end in shaded stillness or I around the bend at Beavertail with the sun glistening on the water like a million stars, I think of the children. Why aren’t more children out riding?

Where should our children be able to ride their bikes safely in Jamestown? The answer should be “everywhere!”

The greatest danger for anyone riding a bicycle in Jamestown is the motorists that live here. A change to 25 mph may help all of us go 40 mph.

As far as only having a few cyclists in Jamestown, I hope we change that too.
Kate Smith

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