When crosswalks were introduced Debbie Downer said, “Pedestrians already fail to follow the crossing laws, and these new pavement markings could make it worse.” Thanks Deb. Not helpful. Even people driving cars fail to follow laws. They exceed the speed limit or text. They blow by you standing at a corner. Every intersection, marked or not, is a legal crosswalk. White stripes show me that you may cross in front of me. They give you a safe zone in a busy street. When I drive, the green bicycle paint tells me I share the road with people choosing to ride their bikes. It gives the person on the bike a little safety in a vulnerable place. If our population swells as predicted, we must learn from Portland and Seattle. Driving and riding are not mutually exclusive. They can integrate seamlessly. Portland has done an exemplary job of this. I suggest my tax dollars be spent on a City Council bike tour of Portland to learn what works. The city should be promoting a healthy cycling culture. Bikes cause less wear and tear on roads. Riding improves fitness, reducing the riders’ medical costs and burden to society. Riding bikes is fun, it’s free, it offers independence to youth who don’t have a license to drive, and it encourages interaction with each other. Choosing to ride also reduces the greenhouse gases that will one day affect every one of us. A little green paint will go a long way.
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