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State of the Debate
George Pyle
George Pyle has been a newspaper writer in Kansas, Utah, Upstate New York, and now Utah again, for more than 30 years - most of it as an editorial writer and columnist. Now on his second tour of duty on The Salt Lake Tribune Editorial Board, he has also done a stretch as a talk radio host, published a book on the ongoing flaws of U.S.agricultural policy and, in 1998, was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize for Editorial Writing. His most active bookmarks are Andrew Sullivan, Christopher Hitchens and Tina Brown. And he still thinks the Internet can be used for intelligent conversation and uplifting ideas.

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(Francisco Kjolseth | The Salt Lake Tribune) A bicyclist peddles through Salt Lake City downtown traffic on April 30, 2012. Cyclists who violate the rules of the road can be cited.
Opinion Sampler: Rules of the road, cars and bikes ...

This recent letter to the Tribune's Public Forum:

Why was I ticketed? — Ellen Gibson

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Why is this supposedly bike-friendly city is giving citations to bicycle commuters? I was given a citation as I was riding my bicycle home on Wasatch Drive during my daily commute. I had slowed down for a four-way stop, put my hands on my brakes, unclipped one shoe and shifted into an easier gear. I then looked both ways, saw there was no traffic, and so continued through the intersection. But, hidden behind a bush, was a motorcycle policeman who saw that I had not put my foot down and, for the sake of public safety, I think, sounded his siren, pulled me over and gave me a $40 citation.Doesn’t the city have more important issues to address than giving a citation to a 62-year-old woman going slowly on a bike through an empty intersection? Mayor Ralph Becker’s push to make Salt Lake City a more bicycle-friendly community has failed miserably.

Was followed by this article:

SLC to cyclists: We will ticket you for road violations — Christopher Smart | The Salt Lake Tribune

Bicycle riders must follow the same rules as automobiles.

And this Public Forum reply:

Fairly ticketed — Kevin Greer

Re Ellen Gibson’s letter of July 9 ("Why was I ticketed?," Forum): The answer is obvious. She did not stop for the stop sign. ...

Bicyclists on roads are a frequent topic of debate in The Public Forum. Viz:

Road hoggers — Sarah Collins

Bicyclists think they own the road. There may have been a time when bicycles and cars could share the road equally, but we live in a time when cars are the main mode of transportation and bicycles have their own designated area on the side of the road that is wide enough for cyclists to safely ride single file. But for many cyclists that is not enough.

From my experiences while driving on Saturday mornings, a popular day for bicycling, cyclists feel the need to be kings of the road. ...

Motorists and cyclists — Stan Rosenzweig

As a motorist, I have often agreed with Sarah Collins’ point ("Road Hoggers," Forum, July 2) that cyclists should stay single file and in their own bicycle lane and not straddle the white line, so annoying to motorists. Then, about two years ago, I was persuaded to pursue the health benefits of biking and learned what it is like from the other side of the debate. ...

Related:

Bicycle tragedies show why awareness is needed — Des Moines Register Editorial

Bicycle revolution gains some ground — Lafayette Journal-Courier Editorial

Avoiding road rage during the Summer of Cycling — Los Angeles Daily News Group Editorial

Death by bicycle — Wall Street Journal Editorial Writer Dorothy Rabinowitz hates, hates, hates, the New York City bicycle program

A license to speed for Colorado legislators? — Denver Post Editorial

State lawmakers shouldn't get a pass on photo radar tickets just because they have special plates. And why do they have special plates, anyway?



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