Safety for cyclists

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Pittsburgh City Council must act to protect and meet the needs of the growing number of residents who are using bicycles as their preferred means of transportation.

Although my fellow cyclists and I have been impressed by the friendly courtesy exhibited on local streets by residents of Pittsburgh, the attitudes and ignorance of the law expressed in letters and comments on these pages is alarming. City council must recognize and respond to this threat to safety before more people are injured.

City council must work with the police, district attorneys, courts and state legislators to strengthen the civil and criminal code to deter behaviors that threaten the safety of cyclists. Authorities should prosecute motorists who violate the law and injure cyclists to the full extent of the law.

City council should authorize spending to improve the routes that cyclists are using to travel into and around the city. Just as Route 30 evolved over time from a horse path connecting Philadelphia and Pittsburgh to a road, the paths that cyclists are beating between communities in the South Side, North Side, Downtown, Regent Square and the East End communities should be identified and their safety made a top priority.

And just as the Pennsylvania Turnpike followed Route 30, a proper bicycle-based intra-city transport system must replace the stopgap measures outlined above. That's what the people whom you want to attract and retain in this city want. The faster you make it a reality, the better.

MIKE WAGNER
Oakland


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