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The irony is the letter writer is complaining about the feature made necessary by the compromise.

Lets make it a point to use these lanes, and use them safely - that will be the best counter. And cyclists in Alexandria should make it a point to thank the city govt for this decision.

It's a bad thing to encourage inexperienced cyclists to cycle? Who knew?

As for bike safety regulations, what are these? Don't crash?

Wash,in the writer's defense,you didn't give a full quote:
The proposal would be encouraging all cyclists, including Capital Bikeshare users/riders who are generally inexperienced riders, usually not wearing helmets and not always familiar with bike safety regulations, to use a bike lane that would just terminate. I guess the end of the bike lane would have them merge into traffic where the street becomes its narrowest, has a turn lane, a cut-in from the drive in front of the Masonic Temple and overall is a dangerous area and intersection.

To be fair,the letter writer is concerned about inexperienced riders having to suddenly merge into traffic. While I personally don't see this as being a big issue,I could see how someone would be concerned about how an inexperienced cyclist would handle this.

I believe the bike lanes are a good idea,however,this letter writer does bring up some good points,and is def not anywhere near as batty as some of the others.

Dynaryder makes a good point, but the letter refers to cyclist danger as a results of their inexperience, the road etc, when they encounter "traffic." Lets be upfront: the danger to cyclists is not from some amorphous "traffic" but from individual drivers who cannot obey the rules of the road and common courtesy. Where is he talking about the inexperienced drivers?

I didn't think the letter writer's full quote was relevant to my criticism, which was the idea that Capital Bikeshare cyclists are less experienced or less familiar with bike safety regulations than other cyclists or - more importantly - the underlying implication that they are more dangerous than other cyclists. There is no data to support such an implication. If anything, I could more convincingly argue the opposite. I don't think the rest of the quote is relevant to that point.

"To be fair,the letter writer is concerned about inexperienced riders having to suddenly merge into traffic."

And whats ironic is that during the debate bike lane opponents were suggesting that because there weren't that many parked cars, cyclists could ride in the shoulder and swerve in whenever they encountered the occasional parked car. In this case the lane will end at a defined point, and a "bike lane ends" sign can at least give cyclists and drivers warning.

As a 35 year resident of Old Town who has ridden that stretch of King Street I observe that the westbound side is 2/3 of a mile of extremely steep grade. 12-14 degrees I'd guess. If any of you can make it to the top on a bike you are better than 99 percent of people who try. Most I've seen are off and walking by half way up. And descending, eastbound, is a scarey proposition even for a 24 year old all sport super athlete that I was. Sorry to be immodest but facts are facts. Very few people bike that stretch of King Street. Some cyclist will be severely injured descending and not by an automobile.
BSL

Based on what I've read over the past few years, accident and injury rates among Capital Bikeshare users are much lower than what are thought to be the accident and injury rates among cyclists in general.

It's difficult to track non-CaBi trips, so the data is not precise. But some of the CaBi data does indicate that the safety of CaBi users should not be an overriding concern. Despite millions of individual bike trips, there have been almost no serious head injuries (or maybe none at all?), and relatively few serious injuries overall. This is the case, even though many CaBi users do not wear helmets. Helmets can provide some protection in certain cases, but that's only part of the total safety equation.

I think this has to do with the slower speeds of the bikes and the low center of mass, which makes them much more stable than a typical road bike or even a hybrid bike. As a personal example, I dropped down into an unmarked ditch on a sidewalk in a construction zone while riding CaBi. I landed with a thud, but I barely wobbled to the side. If I had been on a road bike, I believe I could have flipped over the handlebars or at least fallen over to the side.

I've ridden up that stretch of King Street. It's not that bad. Maybe 15% of people would need to stop and walk it.

I've noted that opponents have been shopping around the notion that the hill on King is too steep. They have suggested the following alternatives: Duke Street; Walnut Street; and the Masonic driveway.
Duke is extremely dangerous, as evidenced by the high frequency at which the pedestrian flashers at the intersection of Telegraph road's ramp to WB Duke are destroyed. Plus, that route requires an extensive detour. Walnut Street is far steeper than King and also requires a detour. The Masonic driveway is private property and also is steeper than King.
One common problem with all of these alternatives is that they do nothing to help pedestrians on King who have no buffer on one side from traffic.
As to the Orwellian notion portrayed on the yard signs that "Bike Lanes=Danger" (look for "Ignorance is Strength" next), that is merely a tactical move by opponents who realized that defending party parking over public safety wasn't winning them any sympathy.
The signs say to call Council at 703.746.4500 to protest the bike lanes. All area cyclists who bike in or through Alexandria should oblige them, but tell Council how much you LIKE the plan.

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