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letters | peril on two wheels

Steps must be taken to curb motorists’ rage

RE “Cyclists say their rights go unrecognized” by Martine Powers (Page A1, Feb. 15): So, what is the real source of disregard that Boston-area bicyclists experience? Motorists hate bicyclists. This is the conclusion I must come to, based on my own experiences.

I imagine many motorists think: Traffic is frustrating enough without having to deal with slow, annoying bicyclists. So, if a few bicyclists get hurt, well, it serves them right for slowing us down.

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Motorists have opened car doors into the bike lane without looking, cut me off in one way or another, or hit me — twice. When I ask why they weren’t paying attention, often they are neither contrite nor apologetic. Rather, they are angry and offer preposterous explanations for why it was my fault.

So, what’s the solution? Giving a few tickets is NOT likely to change the innate frustration that motorists feel. Boston needs separate bike lanes. The sidewalks along Commonwealth Avenue and Beacon Street are ample; use some of that space for bike lanes. In other cases, more thought is required.

This issue will only be addressed when decision-makers — mostly motorists — acknowledge that bicyclists are only trying to help save the planet and not get killed in the process. We deserve more than actions based on deep-seated motorist rage.

Ed Loechler


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