Friday, May 7, 2010

KETV on bike lanes

I hate the local television news here (sorry, C.t.), so I mostly get my news from NPR, the Times, and the World-Herald.

But the KETV piece garnered some chatter on Facebook and the blogsphere, so I checked it out. Here's the comment I left on their message board:

Self-confinement in a 2,000-pound cage dehumanizes people by isolating them from their environment, their bodies, and other people. Perfectly decent folks sometimes act like sociopaths when they get behind the wheel of a car; their stress levels rise as traffic compromises the invulnerability and freedom that cars are supposed to provide.

And when these stressed drivers encounter someone who's willing to escape their confinement by riding a bike, the difference drives the motorist even crazier.

But try to remember—people ride those bikes. They are not roadblocks or lost taxes—they’re people. People trying to get to work, people trying to get some exercise, people trying to enjoy our city.

Just because you're in a car doesn't mean that you have any more legal right to the road than the people on the bikes. But bike lanes will ease car-bike conflicts by getting the bikes out of the way.

In every major metropolitan city, bike lanes have been shown to ease congestion, not add to it. And making a community more livable by curbing suburban sprawl and providing alternative means of transportation has also been shown to attract business and increase the tax base.

Let’s all try to remember that Omaha is famous for its welcoming, friendly people. Let’s try to act like it when we get in our cars and hop on our bikes.

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