Many letters regarding bicyclist’s rights (and wrongs) have appeared since Sara Ferguson (Letters, “Bicyclists vs. everyone else,” Gazette) launched the first on-target arrow on the topic back in September. Many of them ” in particular, Glen Garcia’s response (Letters, “Tone it down,” Oct. 27, Gazette) to my mild response, in which he accused me of “plucking the yew,” aka “flipping the bird” ” have convinced me that I was wrong: My previously proposed $500 recreational road use permit fee should actually be $600 a year.
The revenue raised could help to offset the cost of the “bike route” signs and pavement decals that have sprung up and gone down since I made the original proposal.
Any excess funds could be applied to installing cable barriers that would define bicycle lanes on the new SkyDance (“Pedestrian”) Bridge. They could also help pay the salary of a full-time lane usage enforcement officer. There might even be enough money left over to cover the installation of those “intellectually dishonest” ” yet decorative ” faux support cables for the bridge deck while the cable guys are there.
The permit application should require proof of liability insurance. As the unspoken message of “The Wearing of The Spandex” is “I have a car, too,” it should be a simple matter to add a moderately priced rider to an existing auto policy. Enforcement of the permit law and safety in traffic could be encouraged and enhanced by mandating the display of the permit atop a 10-foot fiberglass pole attached to the frame of the bicycle. Since it would be foolish to suggest seat belts and/or airbags for bicyclists, well-padded Kevlar suits could be mandated as well.
The pole, the permit/flag and the safe riding suit could all be color-coordinated and would make for great add-on sales for bicycle dealers.
“John D. Carlson