The Coast News Group

Letters: Recent cyclist fatalities indicate need for more protections

Two recent bicycle fatalities in north county are very troubling and indicate the need for more protected bike facilities to separate bikes from cars as much as possible.

On June 22, a 75-year-old man riding on the road in Solana Beach was hit and killed by a 21-year-old drunk driver at 10:35 a.m. The very next day, a 34-year-old woman, a scientist from the Salk Institute, was struck and killed in La Jolla by a 74-year-old driver when the rider was merging into the left lane.

We all know that drivers do not always do what they are supposed to do, like pay attention, or only drive sober, or give up their licenses when they are too old or impaired to drive anymore.

Tragic incidents like these are the result, and they are the very reason why many people choose not to ride bicycles on the road…full stop.

If we hope to get more people to ride bicycles, separated and protected bike lanes are a must. They don’t eliminate the risk of getting hit by a car entirely, but they certainly reduce that possibility to the point that many more people will feel safe enough to bicycle on the road.

Yet there are those in the local cycling community who continue to work tirelessly against protected lanes for their own self-serving need to go as fast as possible and ride in large groups.

Local municipalities should have little desire to cater to this interest group and move forward with planning and building more separated and protected bike lanes.

Jeremy Blakespear