Cyclists, please show courtesy to trail walkers

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It didn't take the enactment of a new law for me to grant bike riders a 4-foot safety zone when I'm driving. Bottom line: I don't want to hurt anyone. If I have to slow down, pull over or wait a few minutes, that brief delay certainly is a superior option to taking the chance of injuring another person.

I do wish, however, that cyclists would grant me the same consideration when my family walks any of Pittsburgh's trails, especially the one that runs from South Side's Hot Metal Bridge to the Glenwood Bridge. Cyclists seemingly intent on re-enacting a leg of the Tour de France treat our presence with the same disdain, disgust and disrespect that some motorists show to bike riders.

Cyclists, I'm asking you for a break. It's not realistic for you to give me 4 feet on a narrow trail, so how about just 2? Maybe you could mount a bell on your handlebars and ding when you approach? In this illusion we call democracy, it helps if we can show each other a measure of human kindness.

In the meantime, let's be honest and realistic: Not every rider is commuting or saving the environment, particularly those who purchase plastic helmets and riding outfits made from synthetic fibers then drive 10 miles to a multiuse trail. And let's also acknowledge that common sense typically is the first casualty in nearly every serious debate. That certainly is the case with this one.

ED STANKOWSKI
Mount Washington


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