[Letters] Make bike riding safer
I totally agree with the editorial “Make cycling safer” (March 13). It maintained that the infrastructure for bicycles is needed for safer bicycling, and several other suggestions were made, such as insurance for bicycle riders and safety education for students.
I was very shocked to hear about the death of a professor in a bicycle accident. It reminded me of one of my professors in college, who had commuted to campus by bicycle. At that time I was also worried about his safety. In addition, these days I see many students who ride bicycles to school. They sometimes cannot help performing stunts on the street filled with cars and buses, because there are no proper bicycle lanes.
As mentioned in the editorial, many people increasingly ride bicycles as a form of transportation, because bicycle riding has a lot of benefits for the economy and environment as well as health. It can help reduce expenses for gasoline for cars, which is good especially when the price of oil is soaring. As a result, people can enjoy cleaner air. With all these benefits, however, it is [self-defeating] if the safety of bicycle riders is not guaranteed. We can’t be too careful about matters of safety.
I strongly agree that there needs to be well-defined bicycle lanes. Of course, there are lots of bicycle lanes already built, which are usually by the river. However, they are not sufficient; more lanes are needed. One of the problems that makes bicycle riding more dangerous and difficult is a lack of accessibility to bicycle lanes. Bicycle riders are expected to get to the bicycle lanes, which are far from their homes. On the way to those bicycle lanes, they may be caught in traffic on the street or blocked by many pedestrians on the sidewalk. Therefore, there should be more lanes that bicycle riders can easily and safely access.
Some people may complain that it is waste of [public funds] to pour too much money building bicycle lanes which are not used as much as other major public transportation such as buses and subways. But if safety measures are taken such as building enough lanes, the number of bicycle riders will increase, which will result in less consumption of gasoline and cleaner air. I know it is easier said than done. Nevertheless, it is worth it for the next generation. Park Yong-bok, teacher