Steven C. Hiatt’s recent letter (August 10) advising e-bikers to “stay in their own lane” is an example of the perfect being the enemy of the good. While his points about environmental impact from mining to power use are legitimate, they are in fact little more than a drop in a thousand Olympic sized swimming pools, dominated by cars of all sizes, both electric and fossil fueled.
More people are riding bicycles of all types now, and the majority of new e-bikers are replacing single occupancy cars and trucks, not standard bicycles, providing for a net reduction in environmental impact. E-bikes have been transformative to how people think about getting around our city and the infrastructure available to do that.
The benefits are clear. The notion that one must be willing to accept that getting sweaty in order to avoid risking one’s life with other motor vehicles passing within inches of them because some electrons are helping them along is simply unrealistic.
Sensible ways exist to promote shared safe use, but advocating for removal of one type of transportation from those paths will have a chilling effect on daily users, with many likely to return to only casual use and support of the system, if at all, and to driving more cars on landscape-dominating and overcrowded streets.
Kip C. Anderson