In a Forum last Sunday about bicycling in Sacramento and how the city has been slow to improve its infrastructure for the growing number of cyclists, Dan Weintraub wrote: “The sad truth is that Sacramento simply is not very friendly to cyclists.”
We asked the question: What should Sacramento do to speed up plans to update the city’s streets and create more bike lanes for cyclists?
LETTERS TOTHE EDITOR
Master plan shows commitment
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Re “Sacramento is not a friendly city for cyclists” (Forum, July 5): Kudos to Daniel Weintraub for highlighting why Sacramento still has a ways to go to be the biking city we can be. At the Sacramento Area Bicycle Advisory Committee, I get to review individual projects as well as planning documents like the city’s Bicycle Master Plan. I cannot overstate how important an adequately funded master plan is to solving the problems of connectivity and safety Weintraub identified.
A great Bicycle Master Plan will help us get the funding we need to close the existing gaps in our bike network and to make our current network safer. It will have substantial, meaningful opportunities for public input and direct funding toward neighborhoods that have not received their fair share of bike investment. These features will cost money, and I am hopeful the city will fully fund a robust bicycle master plan. If not, The Bee can always run Weintraub’s column again in five years.
Matt Read, Sacramento
Bike riders should follow the rules
The glaring problem with cyclist in Sacramento is that most of them don’t follow the law. They ride against traffic; cross streets in front of cars; and ride on the wrong side of the road. Several police officers have informed me that most of the time when there is a pedestrian vs. bicycle accident it is the bicyclist’s fault.
A relative of mine who lives in Portland, a very bike friendly city, rides thousands of miles on a bike. They tell me cyclists here don’t seem to care how they ride around Sacramento. I have almost hit several people who were on the wrong side of the road or riding against traffic.
I am very surprised that the Police Department has not done anything to crack down on this. Make the cyclists follow the law just like everyone else, and maybe the public would be behind having a bike friendly region.
Elaine Jackson, Sacramento
Jill McNamara-Twiss – My stepdaughter was killed last November riding her bike to work. She was in the bike lane. The area she was in is very poorly lit; it was still dark.
Some things that might help:
More clearly marked bike lanes.
Educate drivers on the 3-foot law.
Educate cyclists on traffic laws.
Strict enforcement of the laws for cyclists and drivers. Zero tolerance.
Nicola Simmersbach – Compared to Munich, Germany, Sacramento is a death trap for cyclists. In Munich, bike lanes are as separated from car lanes as pedestrian walkways are. At the same time, bikes and pedestrians are very separated. This keeps everyone safe. I refuse to bike in Sacramento, but in Munich I use mostly bike and public transit.
Myrl Pardee – Same is true in Copenhagen.
Christian Flanders – Just got back from Amsterdam where it seems the whole population ride bikes as their main mode of transportation. I rode a bike there more in four days than I have in years. Cars, bikes and pedestrians each have their own lanes and traffic lights. It seemed to work perfectly and we should emulate that. No need to reinvent the wheel so to speak.
Melanie Andrews – Re-educate cyclists and insist they take an operator’s license exam in order to ride in high traffic areas. Ticket them frequently to enforce the traffic laws they consistently ignore. Once they obey traffic laws, vehicle drivers won’t be as offended and antagonistic toward them.
Irene Duci Capps – How about a user fee for cyclists to help pay the costs for the upgrades and installation of bike lanes?
Jennifer Green – I drive and I am an avid cyclist. I follow the laws of the road and stay in the bike lane. Unfortunately, the city and county needs to make bike lanes continuous, meaning that when the bike lane ends cyclists are suddenly sharing the road with cars until we catch the bike lane across the intersection. I feel the city and county should review all bike lanes, make improvements and enforce traffic violations committed by drivers and cyclists.
Donna Rice – The bike lanes should connect to a central route that commuters could use safely.
Scott Hammond – Create protected bike lanes.