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Saturday, December 15 , 2018, 7:11 am | Fair 42º


Letter to the Editor: New Bicycle Law a Turn in Wrong Direction

Thank you for your coverage of a bill that has seemed to slip through our state Legislature without properly notifying the people it will most impact.

Roads were made for cars. It's really that simple. There are bike lanes on strategic streets in this town. Not enough bicyclists use them. They would rather go on narrow streets that are not intended for cars and bikes. Or they use sidewalks. And speaking as someone who lives in the downtown grid and uses surface streets most of the time, there are myriad accidents waiting to happen in this town.

Bulb-outs have taken away cars' ability to make safe right-hand turns without stopping the flow of traffic. They have also eradicated the bikers' ability to travel safely without veering into the car lane. The bicyclists who use the sidewalks very rarely, if ever, actually look to see if cars are coming before they dart into a crosswalk, causing cars to come to a fast stop. Or, for those who may be trying to make a right turn, a frightening "turn" when they see a non-pedestrian come flying off of the sidewalk into the crosswalk.

I doubt anyone is going to be carrying around a yard stick to determine how much of an infringement into the 3-feet law a car will go. I see this law becoming an excuse for bicyclists to be even more daring and careless — assuming that all responsibility falls on the driver.

This is yet another useless bill without any real teeth, unless someone is going to spend state money on policing this law. And it seems there are much more pressing issues to be policing.

Deborah Bertling
Santa Barbara

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