I've known among family and friend for being rather outspoken but it's a quality I inherited from my mother. Outspokenness usually doesn't always win you any popularity contests but I've found that very often those of us with that trait are just willing to say what the majority in the room are thinking. Those who yell the loudest and with the most vitriol don't necessarily represent the views of the majority.
My mother recently felt compelled to submit a reasoned, polite letter of disagreement to the editor to the Greenville (SC) News. Heavy sigh! Greenville, South Caroline, that long-time bastion of conservatism, is now home to many transplants from the northeast and "old" Europe and is being challenged to install such socialist threats as BIKE LANES! I've posted about Greenville's awesome downtown redevelopment - a 30 year labor of love begun by then Greenville mayor Max Heller. Oh, the whining that insued back then. Why would anyone want to sit around Main Street and listen to music in the middle of day? Indeed! Vibrant downtowns are such a bore! The naysayers are likely eating their hats by now because urban planners and city officials from all over the country visit downtown every year to see how it's done. Walkable, bikeable downtowns are part of the mix, and Greenville continues to invest heavily in those ammenities - probably the reason why the downtown is now hopping seven days a week.
Anyway, back to my mom's letter. I've pasted it in below for you reading enjoyment or you can click on this link to read it and the comments (mostly written by the angry, loud anti-bike crowd).
This is in answer to the recent letter “Cyclists don’t belong on the roads,” which equates cyclists with children playing with toys.I am wondering what the writer thinks roads are for? Roads have been with us long before automobiles came along. The purpose of a road is to allow people to get from one place to another, whether on foot, horseback, ox cart, automobile or bicycle. Any driver who cannot negotiate around a cyclist has no business operating an automobile.
Bicycles are not toys. They are a healthful, safe and environmentally beneficial means of transportation. For many people, they are the only affordable option.
For the record, I live off East North Street where bicycle lanes have just been added, and close to a school, as well. I have driven during the busiest times of the day and never had any trouble with the traffic. I just wish I were young enough and strong enough to join the cyclists. I’m sure I would be a lot healthier.