I have been here only a month and have already witnessed the war taking place here in Bellingham between motor vehicles, pedestrians and bicyclists. Letters to the Editor present daily coverage of this war. I do not necessarily subscribe to the belief that the road belongs to the motor vehicles. The road only may belong” to motor vehicles driven by unthinking motorists. There are behavioral norms for all societal, civilized life. I am sure that Bellingham has its share of yahoos who “think” they own the road.
I come from Denver, Boulder and Portland where awareness of bicyclists and pedestrians is mandatory and an instilled behavioral part of the culture. Pedestrians and bicyclists were here before the horseless carriage and the tradition in Europe and Asia has been a bicycle culture forever. Americans just never continued this culture, I believe to our detriment. We are reaping those dying planet rewards now. As far as I am concerned from what I have witnessed in just a month, Bellingham is already owned by its bicyclists and pedestrians. It would take a super-smart motor vehicle to keep itself, its driver, pedestrians and bicyclists safe on these streets. In the growing season, the tree leaves make the instant light and shadow contrasts even harder to see people crossing the streets in crosswalks or otherwise. Bellingham needs to eliminate the motor vehicle from downtown.