To the editor: About half of car trips in the U.S. are within easy bicycling distance of three miles, but only about 1% of trips are by bike. There is tremendous potential for biking to reduce traffic congestion, pollution, and carbon emissions while improving health. (“The philosophy that has pitted cars against cyclists for the last 40 years is finally dying,” Opinion, July 12)
Tom Babin makes the case that fear of injury by cars is the main reason people do not cycle, and this is supported by many studies. If fear of injury is the problem, then actually protecting bicyclists from traffic is the solution. And painted lanes or “sharrows” do not protect.
Los Angeles has made important initial steps toward prioritizing cycling. The next step is to get serious about protecting cyclists with a connected network of separated bike facilities. As more cyclists feel comfortable venturing onto the streets, L.A. will reap the environmental, health and even economic benefits.
James Sallis, San Diego