You can now read 5 articles in a month for free on BostonGlobe.com. Read as much as you want anywhere and anytime for just 99¢.

Red Sox Live

2

1

▼  5th Inning 2 outs

letters

We miss key bike-safety factors when we focus only on helmets

It’s great that the Globe is calling attention to transportation safety (“Pedaling bike safety,” G section, Nov. 10). However, it is disappointing to see victims of roadway violence being portrayed as reckless or scofflaws who somehow bear all the responsibility for protecting themselves from motor vehicles.

While helmet promotion is a key element of the Boston Cyclists Union’s work, the largest threat to cyclists in Boston is not a reluctance to wear helmets. Rather, it is the poor, outdated roadway designs we have inherited and drivers who do not feel responsibility for protecting pedestrians or cyclists. Head injuries account for only 2.2 percent of all bike-related injuries in Boston emergency rooms, according to a recent study. By focusing on examples of cavalier bike messengers and headphone-wearing hipsters, Linda Matchan downplayed the fact that riding a bicycle has become a mainstream mode of transportation and a way to promote public health.

Continue reading below

Instead of concentrating on armoring people for impact, the Globe and the city would do best to help prevent the impact and clear the way for more people to get active. This could be done by collecting all the data we can from police, ambulance service, and emergency room records. This information could then be used to improve roadway design, guide legislation, and provide guidance for targeted education.

Pete Stidman

Executive director

Boston Cyclists Union

Jamaica Plain

Loading comments...
Subscriber Log In

We hope you've enjoyed your 5 free articles'

Stay informed with unlimited access to Boston’s trusted news source.

  • High-quality journalism from the region’s largest newsroom
  • Convenient access across all of your devices
  • Today’s Headlines daily newsletter
  • Subscriber-only access to exclusive offers, events, contests, eBooks, and more
  • Less than 25¢ a week
Marketing image of BostonGlobe.com
Marketing image of BostonGlobe.com
Already a subscriber?
Your city. Your stories. Your Globe.
Yours FREE for two weeks.
Enjoy free unlimited access to Globe.com for the next two weeks.
Limited time only - No credit card required!
BostonGlobe.com complimentary digital access has been provided to you, without a subscription, for free starting today and ending in 14 days. After the free trial period, your free BostonGlobe.com digital access will stop immediately unless you sign up for BostonGlobe.com digital subscription. Current print and digital subscribers are not eligible for the free trial.
Thanks & Welcome to Globe.com
You now have unlimited access for the next two weeks.
BostonGlobe.com complimentary digital access has been provided to you, without a subscription, for free starting today and ending in 14 days. After the free trial period, your free BostonGlobe.com digital access will stop immediately unless you sign up for BostonGlobe.com digital subscription. Current print and digital subscribers are not eligible for the free trial.