Kick the Car Habit

I have read with interest Gary Trendler’s letter regarding “sidewalk rules” in the Eugene Weekly (Nov. 29). This letter was in response to a letter by a pedestrian who had a near miss with a bicyclist on the sidewalk and a subsequent confrontation.

I walk or bike almost everywhere in town and strongly support human-powered transportation as the best option in terms of safety, environment and health. My personal experience is that, generally, bicyclists on the sidewalk move to the street to avoid pedestrians. In the case mentioned, this didn’t happen.

While Gary can be legally correct in his rendering of the law, I think this misses the larger point. I try to use bike lanes, as I feel this establishes our “right” to streets that are often seen as “belonging” to cars. Ideally bikes would co-exist with cars on streets (as they do in Europe), but this would require lower speeds (“twenty is plenty”) and more bicyclists.

Endangering pedestrians is not the way to engender the change I envision. Please be courteous and understand we can kick the car habit when we have viable alternatives. Let’s work together to make this happen instead of scaring pedestrians. We need everyone.

Bruce Tufts