Encourage bicycle travel with more dedicated lanes

July 13, 2011

I am a member of the Boy Scouts of America, and I am writing to you about how Columbia should advance its pathway system. We have a great community, and far better pathways than most cities, but the cycling community is growing, and it would be beneficial to Columbia to add more places for bicycles to travel.

Gas prices are going through the roof, and more people who have relatively close jobs are switching to biking to work. Other countries have made cycling one of the main modes of transportation, and it is working very well. We need to start making that switch for ourselves. With the increased number of cyclists, we should have more paths by the roads or, for road cyclists, a bike lane on the shoulder.

I know many road bikers, and most will ride even if there is little or shoulder to keep them out of traffic. This is a plain safety hazard that can be fixed by turning the shoulder into a bike lane that drivers will respect. Stevens Forest Road is a perfect example of a bike lane in the road. Race Pace has a weekly ride that travels on that road, and many of the riders feel less threatened after the addition of the lane. When it comes time to repaint a road, I believe it would be a good idea to simply change the lines by adding a safe place for riders.

Benjamin Mogren

Oakland Mills

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