November 27, 2007

Cyclists pose no threat on campus

I certainly hope Claire McNear’s article “Ending the Vicious Cycle of Violence,” (11/15/07) was a joke. If not, it is not only ridiculous, but verging on offensive. She argues that cyclists should require licenses, like train conductors or car drivers. Strangely enough, the licensing process for drivers doesn’t prevent the estimated 45,000 drivers and 4,000 pedestrians that are killed in traffic accidents in this country.

In fact, several cyclists are killed by drivers every year in Chicago, along with more than 500 others in the rest of the United States. For every person you can find who has received a minor

injury (although I’ve never heard of this before) or been frightened by a cyclist, I can show you a friend who’s been hospitalized by a reckless driver.

The fact is, bicycles are a much more efficient, safe, and clean mode of urban transportation than cars. The fact that the only requirements are “hav[ing] access to a bike

and…be[ing] able to ride it” allows those who can’t afford a car, or who are disinclined to befoul our environment, to still be mobile.

Phil Underwood

President, U of C Bike Club