Bicyclists, Be Careful

RECEIVED Fri., April 19, 2013

Dear Editor,
    Today I was driving down a small side street approaching West Anderson Lane when a woman riding a bicycle on the sidewalk (with a small child in a baby seat) crossed right in front of me without looking to see whether there were any cars approaching the intersection. Fortunately, I was able to stop in time and not hit her, but a friend of mine in Houston was seriously injured in a similar situation – she was riding on the sidewalk and a car pulling out of a garage ran into her. Houston ordinances forbid bicycling on the sidewalk in any business district, but Austin rules only forbid it on a handful of Downtown streets. Many bicycle safety groups recommend not riding on the sidewalk because of reduced visibility to drivers and the risk of being hit by a car turning right into a driveway. As Austin becomes more of a big city, it is time for it to adopt an ordinance similar to Houston’s and forbid bicycling on sidewalks in business districts.
Paul Kevin Smith
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