Rebecca Wendt: Bikers should police their own
July 21, 2010
Steamboat Springs — Well, the push is on for us to officially be named "Bike Town USA." Not a bad idea at all, except for the words we keep hearing attached to the word "bicyclist." Rude, disrespectful, dangerous, arrogant road and trail hogs.
Is this how we really want to be known?
From longtime locals to tourists to our own friends and family, we hear so much negativity about cyclists. To be honest, we cannot say it is unjustified. We have all witnessed the people who ride five and six abreast, flipping off the line of cars they are holding up. Those who refuse to put their foot down to stop at a stop sign or just blow through a stoplight. What about those too lazy to give a hand signal to turn? We all know that just like the rules of the road for boats (it takes a big boat longer to slow down and turn, therefore big boats have right of way), the same is true of cars and bikes. If we want to be the official "Bike Town USA," should we not do it with style and class?
Are the organizers of the push willing to take responsibility for what the title "Bike Town USA" will bring to this community? Thousands more bicyclists, many of whom have very little experience. Are they willing to start policing their own? Are they willing to accept financial responsibility for the new trails and bike lanes that will be required?
Would they support, say, mandatory bike registration (plates) for a nominal fee, which would allow people to identify those who are breaking the rules? The fees could help offset the cost of the new trails, education, etc., that will be needed. Or is the community (the majority of which do not bicycle) going to be the ones to pay the price?