Instead of arguing about bike lanes, we should all slow down and drive safely

Bike lane expansions in Chicago were the result of concerned citizens coming together to provide a safe alternative to the car-centric lifestyle in their communities.

SHARE Instead of arguing about bike lanes, we should all slow down and drive safely
A cyclists rides down a greenway March 28 on North Dearborn Street.

A cyclists rides down a greenway March 28 on North Dearborn Street.

Tyler Pasciak LaRiviere/Sun-Times

Bicycles are a cheap, environmentally friendly and easily repairable mode of transportation that also provide great physical exercise. They may not have the metal walls and tinted-glass fancifulness of a car (as a writer pointed out in a letter to the editor titled “Bicycles don’t belong in city traffic”), but this only serves to enhance the rider’s connection to the outside world — something we could all benefit from.

In fact, I believe that bicycles are an excellent vehicle for working-class individuals. They can be much cheaper to own and maintain than cars, and riders more often have the power to fix them themselves without having to visit expensive repair shops. Bicycles are perfect for leisurely commutes around the city. When the weather gets bad, bikers can mount their bikes to a CTA bus and get safely where they’re going.

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Cars are involved in far more accidents than bicycles, and the injuries sustained are often much more severe. This is because despite the air bags, protective cushioning, seat belts and other safety features, cars are unnecessarily heavy and travel far faster than bicycles. Promoting cycling reduces cars on the road, which reduces car accidents and deaths.

Bike lane expansions in Chicago were not merely the work of a nebulous bike lobby, but rather they were the result of concerned citizens coming together in a democratic process to provide a safe alternative to the car-centric lifestyle in their communities.

Perhaps instead of arguing about bikers and bike lanes, we should all slow down, roll down our windows, and drive more safely so that we can all enjoy the city roads, regardless of our preferred mode of transportation.

Dan Ashurst, Logan Square

Support Hawthorne race track

Referring to the “Developers eye new horse racing track in Richton Park as Hawthorne ‘racino’ plan stalls” story in Monday’s Sun-Times, I offer the following: I know of eight race tracks that no longer exist here in Illinois. The only two left are Hawthorne in Stickney and Fairmount Park downstate.

Along with thoroughbreds, Hawthorne is the only one to offer harness racing. The horse industry in this state has degraded into almost obscurity. We used to be a contender to the Kentucky Derby, but no more.

The annual State Fair holds harness racing; where would it get its stock if it weren’t for Hawthorne? Breeding, employment of the many behind-the-scenes jobs that care for the animals, i.e., training, health, schooling, etc., is a state asset.

Stop listening to developers and cater to Hawthorne’s needs. How many other institutions have been around for 132 years?

Fred J. Wittenberg, Evanston

Soft on MTG

Leslie Stahl is taking some flak for going too easy on Marjorie Taylor Greene in her 60 Minutes interview.

Lucky for Ms. Greene that she wasn’t talking with Mike Wallace. He would have interrupted her several times with his familiar “Oh, come on!”

Dan McGuire, Bensenville

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