Safer roadways will make safer sidewalks

Published: Sunday, Aug. 31, 2014 - 10:08 pm

Re "An improved biking network is essential for Sacramento" (Editorial, Aug. 24): I have been following the sidewalk riding discussion eagerly. Thank you for calling attention to the need for streets redesigned so that bicyclists of any age and skill level would feel safe and comfortable enough to leave pedestrians alone on the sidewalks.

I recognize the danger that bicyclists pose to pedestrians on sidewalks, but your editorial writer understood something many chastising letter writers didn't: cyclists are in a no-win scenario. They are legally entitled and frequently encouraged to use the roadway but all too often encounter motorists who seem reluctant to share or roads that are unwelcoming or downright terrifying.

That pressure pushes riders onto sidewalks, which just creates conflict with pedestrians. Fortunately, building more inviting roadways will release that pressure, and we'll find we won't need to ratchet up enforcement of the city's sidewalk riding ordinance.

-- Ryan Sharpe, Sacramento

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