Let’s also respect pedestrians, cyclists

The recent letter from Mo Stich (“Bike riders need to consider others,” Nov. 5) left me outraged.

Requisite disclaimer: As an avid cyclist I am disturbed by the sight of cyclists blowing off laws – especially when their doing so creates a danger or appreciable inconvenience for motorists.

It serves to fuel the anger that many motorists already harbor toward us, and widens a divide that ought not exist.

As for Ms. Stich: I understand your anger at what allegedly happened, but your actions were inappropriate, especially for a law officer.

Your playing vigilante by chasing down and stopping (presumably physically with the vehicle you were driving) the cyclist was not your right, and created a very dangerous situation for the cyclist, who has just as many rights as you do, regardless of whether or not he is a police officer, or has children.

You used your status as a police officer to intimidate. You cannot take the law into your hands and seek revenge like this. In the current atmosphere of citizens keeping a close watch on their rights in light of government intrusion, it is disturbing to know that a local officer acts like this. Please don’t abuse your power.

Your engaging, child in car, in an angry chase was, well, enough said on that.

Your angry rant at a fellow citizen, and calling him a coward, gives me no confidence that you would act in level-headed fashion if, in the course of your job, someone angered you.

We all put up with poor, dangerous driving by our fellow citizens every day – even on this fair island. I am disappointed at your lack of restraint.

I think that the chief reason for publishing the letter was to bring awareness to children’s safety.

But in printing a condemnation of cyclists’ behavior, and tacitly legitimizing vengeance against cyclists, the Review has potentially stacked the odds even more against cyclists, whom, every time we ride, already face the very real possibility of not returning home to our children.

Vastly more dangerous are the irresponsible actions of motorists, than those of cyclists. No additional public anger need be stirred up toward cyclists.

More – much more – light needs to be shone on the need for the respecting, and protecting, of cyclists on our roadways.

For every published report of a wrongdoing by a cyclist, 50 need to be published about the wrongs cyclists endure on our roadways every day and night.

Drivers, please stop checking your values and sense of community at car’s door. To someone who was hopeful that the island would stand above the norm, the ruthless driving I witness every day on the island is very demoralizing.

How about more of those heart-shaped signs I see posted around?

Those who choose to cycle or walk instead of driving are doing much to combat the problems of congested roadways, high fuel prices, and environmental damage.

Let’s respect their legal and moral rights to the road.

Tad Lang

Bainbridge Island

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