Intent of bicycle safety letter misinterpreted

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(Re: Cyclists must obey traffic laws, Letter to the editor, Page 7, Truro Daily News, Saturday, July 12.)

Paul Dunn makes a good case for the need to get bicycles off of our sidewalks. As an avid cyclist (and walker), I couldn't agree more. In his letter, however, he says "baloney" to part of a letter that I earlier wrote on a similar subject. He is wrong to suggest that I think, "It is better to illegally ride on safer sidewalks and put pedestrians at risk." I personally do not ride on sidewalks and I am surprised at the blind-eye that the police seem to have on this matter.


 What I said in my letter was that "I understood why some cyclists may use the sidewalks but that it just avoids the issue." Do cyclists feel safer riding on sidewalks? Probably they do and for a variety of reasons, but it is also unsafe and illegal. Convenience and ignorance of the law are also factors. Some impatient and ill-informed car drivers would prefer that cyclists get off the roads and use the sidewalks. 


The reason that I was addressing in my earlier letter was not related to interaction with other vehicles, which I recognized as being generally safe and courteous, but to the condition of the edges and shoulders of roads and streets where bicycles should be travelling. Avoiding (or not) some of these obstacles is clearly difficult, dangerous and hard on both bike and rider.


I believe that if our roadways could be improved (especially the removal of debris) more people might see cycling in Truro as a viable and safe means of transport. This could be supported by education and enforcement of laws concerning cyclists using sidewalks.


Earle Sharpe


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Recent comments

  • Bruce Ross
    July 24, 2014 - 22:22

    The benefits of cycling can be better enjoyed with safety of all in mind... this means cooperation between pedestrians, cyclists and auto drivers... there is plenty of room on the roads for cars and bikes that are used lawfully, and no room for bikes or other wheeled vehicles on sidewalks. Even with occasional accidents, the benefits of cycling on the health of riders with a significant accumulation of exercise far outweigh the downsides. One should hope that the law enforcement folks would manage cyclists and drivers in order to allow walkers the comfort of not having a bike injury. It has been many years since I cycled in Truro, but I remember it as a great place and area for cycling. I am looking forward to riding there this September with the Give To Live Foundation coming from Ottawa thru Truro to Ottawa... we won't be on the sidewalks, promise... and we know the drivers will give us our four feet of space. Good luck to cyclists, our hearts and bodies depend on using the roadways, not the sidewalks...