The “solution” to prevent car-bicycle collisions suggested by William T. Stokes in a May 16 letter, “Streets too dangerous for bicycles,” is, in a word, ludicrous. Stokes recommends banning bicycles from streets.
Perhaps Stokes isn’t aware that bicycles are legal vehicles in every state. Regrettably, accidents happen, but banning bicycles from streets isn’t the answer. Better education is. Cyclists must be aware, be visible, wear helmets, ride with traffic, have lights and obey traffic laws. This starts with parents. I also regularly see motorists who run stop signs and sometimes red lights with no seeming regard for others or who are distracted. Both motorists and cyclists could do much better in this regard.
Stokes wants bikes to be licensed, and the money dedicated to bike trails. I’m all for more bike paths, but the trouble with that is if a cyclist has a specific destination in mind, a bike path won’t necessarily get them there. I often ride downtown, but I can’t get there on a bike path.
Requiring bikes to be licensed would require a new bureaucracy at the local or state level. Has Stokes considered the cost, or whether it would ultimately prevent accidents? I doubt it.