Opinion Your Views — 27 February 2014
Bike lane debate is about parking — nothing more, nothing less

By Bayley Vanderpoel, VeloCity Bicycle Cooperative
(File Photo)

To the editor:

I would like to respond to Kathryn Papp’s letter to the editor regarding the bike lobby (“The bicycle lobby is out of control,” February 13). It’s no coincidence that the large majority of people opposing the King Street bike lane project also happen to live on the section of road that’s up for debate.

They continue to express safety concerns about adding bike lanes to the street, although they never mention that if the bike lanes were approved, parking spaces in front of those houses along King Street would be removed.

This campaign against bicycle lanes is clearly a facade to protect public parking in front of their houses. Yet to win support from the public, they frame the controversy as a safety issue.

Let’s not make this something that it’s not. The issue they have is clearly parking spaces, and yet they refuse to mention that to the public.

Papp also unfairly portrays “the bike lobby” as a bunch of bullies who put arbitrarily creating bicycle lanes above the safety of the riders that they’re advocating on behalf. Organizations like the Washington Area Bicyclist Association represent the entire region, and the group’s transportation policy experts have a lot more experience on issues like these than the residents who are opposing the bike lanes.

It’s unfair to paint them as special-interest groups.

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(1) Reader Comment

  1. Maybe the city should just buy a few (ok, about 15) feet from King Street residences so that additional traffic lanes, in addition to bike lanes, could be accommodated? That way, everyone wins- drivers, bikers, the adjoining landowners concerned about a loss of parking, traffic, etc. For a group so concerned about congestion, safety, etc, the residents seem to be pretty committed to the status quo.

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