[Letters] A basic need for safe cycling
I absolutely agree with the concern expressed in the editorial, “Make cycling safer” (March 13), regarding the safety of bike riders. It reminds me of my first experience of riding a bike to commute to my workplace. At first, I thought it would be fun and easy. But the reality was totally different from what I expected. I could not go straight along the lane, but had to maneuver a lot to avoid pedestrians who walked on the bike lane. I moved very carefully, [drawing on all my] driving skills.
Cyclists take the streets instead of bike lanes to avoid crashing into pedestrians. Even though they know it is very dangerous, occasionally causing death, they have no other choice. It is time for the government to take action.
As a pedestrian, I used to walk on the colored lane, never thinking about how much inconvenience it caused cyclists. Educating people to take the road for its original purpose is one of the easiest ways to solve this problem. This could be done simply through public information campaigns.
The fundamental cause of this senseless problem is the narrowness of bike lanes. Except for well-planned special bike lanes such as along the Han River, most bike paths are too narrow. Sections in town are so crowded with people that pedestrians cannot afford to be considerate to others. We must widen roads and separate pedestrian lanes from bike lanes.
It’s true that we need many things like parking lots and other facilities, but these can come later. As one who has recently joined those who bike to work, all I request is the most basic infrastructure - large enough bicycle lanes where people can pass by without obstructing others.
Kang Su-jin, teacher