As printed in the El Paso Times on 11/22/2013 Froma Harrop’s recent commentary on bicyclists and cars was long on anecdotes yet short on policy recommendations. We all have stories about scary situations while riding our bikes or driving near a cyclist. But what is needed here in El Paso is better infrastructure so that cars and bikes each have their space on the road, limiting the possibility of close calls or collisions. I ride my bike daily throughout central El Paso to get to work, run errands, and meet up with friends. I’m a certified cycling instructor and Velo Paso board member; I follow the rules of the road and make myself predictable and visible. Drivers still honk at me, though, when my presence on the road slows them down or frustrates them. Each of those honks is a potential supporter of expanded and improved bike infrastructure. Cars want to move safely at their speed; cyclists want the same thing. While educated cyclists and drivers can share the same lane, it’s more dangerous for cyclists and it’s frustrating for drivers. A connected, expansive system of bike lanes and bike boulevards will help move cyclists through El Paso more safely and quickly, while keeping cars away from vulnerable cyclists and allowing them to move at a more comfortable speed. Instead of complaining, let’s build better bike infrastructure and improve safety on our roads. Sarah Rich, Central El Paso Sarah Rich is an attorney, policy analyst, and founding member of Velo Paso Bicycle-Pedestrian Coalition You can read Froma Harrop’s ediorial here

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