Do We Really Need Bike Lanes on Williamson Road?

Having just returned from biking in France for 2 weeks as well as some sightseeing in Paris, it is worth noting that there are few bike lanes/paths, only narrow roads and crowded city streets with congested traffic particularly in Paris where there are hundreds of cyclists.  When I inquired to locals and cab drivers about the danger and if there were many accidents, the answer was a resounding NO.  “Very few” said my driver as he was side by side with cyclist so close I could have touched him! How do you manage it, I asked.

His reply was that the driver and the cyclist are alert and respectful of each other with the driver always giving way to the cyclist and we NEVER text while driving.  I began to think about that relative to the proposed Williamson Road project (which will congest traffic) to turn 4 lanes into 2 so bike lanes can be added. Personally I wouldn’t bike Williamson WITH bike lanes given the quality of drivers these days, but I digress.

The point is “it isn’t the road that kills people” it is poor drivers and arrogant cyclist who want to ride abreast of each other. Although I can’t imagine what they have to say to each other while biking that couldn’t wait until a rest stop. ALL my attention is on the road and traffic.  As a driver, I always give 3 feet clearance of the cyclist.  If all drivers and cyclist would be respectful of each other we could save lives and taxpayer dollars.  The city wouldn’t need to force feed the residents and businesses on Williamson Rd. something they don’t want.

Suzanne Osborne / Roanoke

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