My Bicycle is not a Toy

I fired off a letter to the newspaper; we'll see how it plays out:

Motorists, please help me keep this pesky bike out of your way.  Blowing the horn, cursing, or acting out threats with your vehicle will not accomplish it.  Instead, let’s ask for improved bicycle infrastructure.
  When you see me biking, I’m going someplace, just like you are.  It’s for shopping, healthcare, and family destinations; a means to deal with work, social, and civic responsibilities, just like you have.  We all know the law guarantees my right to share the road, but busy streets are stressful for me as well as the other road- users; and I don’t have a better place to ride.  I’m only trying to get to the next subdivision, or a business, or use the traffic lights to cross a highway.  I’d stay entirely on quiet streets, but much of East Baton Rouge Parish lacks contiguous street grids, and many of our neighborhoods do not interconnect.  Construction of a few pathways linking the “easy” streets, paved shoulders, and existing bike lanes could enable bicycling routes away from heavy motor traffic.  Bikes have much to offer the community, and we see growing numbers on our streets; Baton Rouge needs to adapt traffic attitudes and infrastructure to better accommodate them.  Please join me in asking the City- Parish to:  1) include bicycle considerations in road projects, 2) add connector paths, 3) enforce the laws related to bicycles, 4) repair and maintain existing bicycle infrastructure.  I’m a motorist, too, and every bicycle commuter means one less car belching heat and exhaust fumes into the traffic jam.  And remind your public officials that the costs of bicycle facilities are miniscule compared to automobile projects.

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