Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Texas needs to toughen it cycle protection laws

Reading today's front page story about the death of the two cyclists makes me think of my 77-year-old father who is still riding the back roads of Illinois.
About 25 years ago, I was home on leave. My dad and I went to one of his favorite pubs when a young lady came up to him saying that she wanted to meet him and wanted to give him a ride home once when it was cold and rainy.
For my dad, weather only makes the ride a little more interesting.
Yet, incidents like the one Sunday make me believe that our state laws need strength. More importantly, they need enforcement for both cyclists and automobiles.
Just like our police departments ticket drivers for speed and safety violations, they also should ticket both drivers and cyclists for unsafe driving. I agree with the law that a car should give three feet or more when passing a cyclist who is on the right side of the road. Yet, our police should also ticket those cyclists who run yield signs and stop lights.
More importantly, our city should look at adding more bike lanes. There are some new additions in downtown and south San Antonio, but we could use more of them.
The extension of the River Walk on the south side of downtown will also add more bike friendly passages.
Still, even with bike lanes, tougher laws and police enforcement will keep the "Bubbas" and their F-150s from endangering bike riders like my dad from serious injury or death.

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