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A more bike-friendly world is nothing to scoff at

Martine Powers’s June 22 Starts & Stops column (“Cambridge lights the way for cyclists,” Metro) managed to be rude and wrong at the same time.

In listing cities with bicycle-specific traffic lights, Powers includes “bike-crazy European cities,” their “hippy-dippy US counterparts,” and, of course, “the People’s Republic of Cambridge.” She seems to imply that bicycling in general and regulating bike traffic in particular are indicative of left-wing politics, or at least ideas out of left field.

In addition, while Powers writes that bicycle traffic signals have “become much more common” in certain oddball parts of the world, in fact they have shown their value in common use for decades.

When I lived in the rural eastern part of the Netherlands 40 years ago, bicycle traffic lights were as common as one-way signs. I’m glad to see them finally arriving on these shores.


Bicycling’s many virtues, both for the rider and for city traffic, deserve better treatment than Powers gave them in this column.

Eric Truebenbach