Regarding July 12 letter from Tom Chadwick. The reason we bicyclists sometimes use the sidewalk is that the existence of a magical white line does not inherently make a bike lane safe. While I do agree that the education of bicycle riders should be improved (as a bike on the sidewalk should follow the same rules as a pedestrian), the lack of respect and attention given to us by vehicle drivers is far worse. The difference is that our risk is a potentially fatal one. When we first moved to Boise a couple of years ago from Europe (where cyclists are inherently much safer), I tried to use the marked bike lines and was almost struck multiple times. After that I also began riding on the sidewalks of any busy streets that do not have a protected bike lane, like Maple Grove or Five Mile. So no the answer is not bigger bike lanes, just better. A curb for actual protection instead of just a magical white line would be a start.
Patrick Lathrop, Boise
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