Having read Frank Neighoff Jr.'s commentary on bike safety, it occurs to me that he embodies the reason bicyclists feel unsafe cruising the streets of Baltimore ("Cyclists must share the costs and responsibilities of road travel," Feb. 15).
What more would he have wanted Tom Palermo to do to prevent the tragedy that befell him? When was the last time a bicyclist struck and killed a pedestrian or motorist? Or the last time a bicyclist dragged a driver or pedestrian down the block without even knowing it?
I am so tired of hearing what the victim has failed to do every time a bicyclist is injured or killed. Unless bicyclists are super vigilant, they will succumb to yet another driver who somehow can't share the road or take extra precautions around bicyclists.
If bicyclists were required to insure and license their bikes I guess we would need a test for them and a minimum age permissible to get their permits — tell that to the 10-year olds at Christmas. And it would still have no effect on drivers who are indignant that bicyclists dare to share the same pavement with them.
Unlike distracted drivers who are surrounded by protection, bicyclists must be attuned to road surfaces, climate changes, unexpected objects in the road, darting animals, traffic patterns and speed of other vehicles because our lives depend on it.
I have had many a car make a left in front of me so closely that I had to slam on my brakes. Once a cab driver turned in front of me so suddenly I fishtailed as I tried to stop and nearly struck his rear quarter panel as the female passenger screamed from the back seat.
I can't count the number of times I've approached an intersection in the Charles Street or Roland Avenue bike lanes and had a driver turn into the right-hand lane without looking to see anyone was there.
If motorists can't understand the lethal capability they possess behind the wheel of a car and are unwilling or incapable of allowing bicyclists the right of way, they should consider public transportation. That would be better than a vehicular manslaughter conviction on their driving record and the death of a bicyclist on their conscience.