Making the great King Street bike lane debate a personal issue

Making the great King Street bike lane debate a personal issue

By Ernie Hazera, Alexandria
(File Photo)

To the editor:

This is a pointed response to the letter written by Linda Lyons (“City officials spend their time worrying about bike lanes?” March 13) characterizing advocates of the bike lanes on King Street as “spandex-clad obsessives.” I was, when I came across her letter, pondering whether or not the bike lanes were a good idea.

She helped me a lot.

I am not a resident of Maryland or D.C. In fact, I live in Old Town, and I have done so since 1979. I am not a newcomer who has no stake in this community. This is my community, thank you very much.

By the way, I commuted by bike into D.C. from Old Town from 1990 until 2012. 1990 was back before individual lanes were even conceived as a way of facilitating bicycle traffic. People who biked to work back then were regarded as having a screw loose.

And yes, I ride for recreation now — some 5,000 miles year — and biking is my passion. I do put on spandex and I bike fast, heading up King Street at 15 mph. So, OK, I am one of those “obsessives” Lyons references.

Anyway, I must thank Lyons for personalizing a policy issue and, for me, clarifying the basis of your opposition to bike lanes on King Street. It is not logical. It is based on unfounded opinions.

Apparently, you have something against people who ride bikes and wear spandex. That’s OK — at least you are being honest.

Biking gives me joy and freedom that I cannot find in a car, and for that I make no apologies. Maybe you should try it. You may even like it.