Opinion Your Views — 13 March 2014
City officials spend their time worrying about bike lanes?

By Linda Lyons, Alexandria
(File Photo)

To the editor:

I drove up King Street past Russell Road recently, a stretch of road where some at City Hall think there should be bike lanes.

Good grief. What an idea!

Bike lanes will create a traffic nightmare for all but a few dedicated bikers. I don’t think that casual bicyclists are going to be riding up that steep hill very often, and I don’t think it will be a terrific idea for people to be racing down it. Only the spandex-clad obsessives will use these lanes while inconveniencing everyone else. The self-righteousness of it all is astonishing.

It reminds me of all the sound and fury last year about the proposed trolley on Mount Vernon Avenue, which was pitched to serve a restaurant district and tourist attraction that doesn’t really exist. No one seemed to consider just running a free DASH bus from Old Town to Del Ray, at least as a test.

I think City Hall has too much money and too much free time on its hands. Officials waste it on hare-brained schemes that seem good in the abstract. But they are mostly pointless.

 

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(1) Reader Comment

  1. Wow. This letter shows a complete lack of understanding for how bicycling actually works. It also assumes that the City Council should only be looking out for the health, safety, and welfare of people that share the same beliefs as the letter writer.

    Very few of the everyday cyclists in this world are the “spandex-clad obsessives”. As an occasional cyclist, I find that type just as annoying as I do the goons in their racing cars that speed from one red light to the next, hoping to jump just one car in the queue. But if you visit any city or town with reasonable bicycle infrastructure you will find plenty of normal people biking in normal clothes. They are not doing it to race through town or to cause traffic nightmares. They are doing it because that is the mode of travel that works best for them, and they are exercising their right to choose.

    As for the City Council, they have an obligation to provide for the mobility of all Alexandrians. According to the latest numbers from the Census (2012 1-year ACS), 10.6% of Alexandria households do not own a car. That’s 6,944 households that are looking for options besides automobiles. Additionally, 50.9% of households own just one car. That means that households with two or more cars are actually in the minority. The City Council has an obligation to serve the needs of all residents.

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