Letter to the Editor

Intolerant drivers

San Luis ObispoJanuary 21, 2014 

Tom Negrete (“Ban the bikes,” Jan. 8) outed himself as intolerant by suggesting banning bicyclists from narrow roads because he finds it “impossible” to give them any clearance. Based on experience, most drivers safely pass bicyclists — with the exception of a few hotheads. If the unthinkable happens, and Negrete hits a bicyclist, his offense will be premeditated.

Negrete supports his view by describing himself as a taxpayer, implying that bicyclists don’t pay taxes. Bicyclists also pay taxes — our roads are paid for by a variety of taxes, not just the gas tax — and are entitled to share the road with motor vehicles. If Negrete is nearly hitting cyclists as he admits in his letter, he is driving too fast for conditions and needs to slow down, put down the cellphone, stop texting and pay attention.

Negrete and other intolerant drivers have a fantasy that public roads were built only for motor vehicles and that they have a right to drive without regard to the safety of others. The reality is that all taxpayers contribute toward our public roadways and have a right to use them. Bicyclists are here to stay, and our numbers are growing.

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