I was saddened to learn from Matthew D. Longtin’s recent letter (“Loving Electric,” August 3) that people in Europe are now using electric bicycles for commuting instead of pedal power as they have done for decades. That is a step back for the environment because of the environmental damage from mining and processing the metals needed for batteries, as well as increasing the demand for electrical power. Of course, Longtin didn’t cite the good of our ecosystem in the letter.
There are no major hills between downtown and the Gilham Road area, so electrical assistance should not be necessary for his commute. Pedaling a bike might take longer, but the exercise would be beneficial to his health. He likes his bike because it is trendy, and it is fun to cruise on the riverside bike paths on warm summer evenings. It must be a thrill to ride his motorbike like he stole it, but non-motorized pedestrian paths are not the place for that. I wonder if he will keep up his commute when the rainy season comes.
I think that the ban on motorized traffic on paths created for foot traffic and pedal power should be reinstated. If people want electric bikes, they can get real electric motorcycles that are made to share the road with the other motorized traffic.
Steven C. Hiatt