Home Opinion Editorials PULLING OUT THE BICYCLE? RIDE SAFELY, CAUTIOUSLY
PULLING OUT THE BICYCLE? RIDE SAFELY, CAUTIOUSLY
The cost for a gallon of gasoline has gone up by nearly a quarter over the past month. To save money and with the coming of spring, some people might want to park their car, oil the chain of their bicycle and start riding to work.
An incident in the Seattle area a week ago is a reminder that tension exists and tempers can fly when bicycles and motor vehicles mix, especially on congested streets.
A 17-YEAR-OLD passenger in a car reportedly leaned out the window and punched a bicyclist in the back. The bike rider, the Rev. David Tinney of Issaquah, Wash., spilled from his two-wheeler, suffering a broken shoulder, a punctured lung, five broken ribs and a broken elbow. The young assailant is expected to be charged this week.
The incident is extreme, but motorists and bicyclists must remember to be civil to one another. Bicycles have every right to be on roads or streets. Motorists must show patience and not become become irritated when they pull alongside a bike rider. They should look after the safety and well-being of the rider.
BICYCLISTS MUST remember that they are obligated to obey the same rules as motorists, including stopping at intersections and using appropriate signals when turning.
Bike riders also must realize that people in motor vehicles usually are trying to go 10 or 15 mph faster than they are. Riders should stay to the right and avoid holding up traffic. If a bicyclist sees that cars are backing up behind him, he should pull over and let the vehicles pass.
Bicylists and motorists can coexist amicably, but only if they bother to understand that each brings different equipment and expectations to the road. Problems can be avoided if motorists and bike riders show respect for each other.
MORE THAN RHETORIC
The United States says it is not going to send troops into the east Mediterranean, where suicide bombings have escalated and tensions have risen to dangerous proportions between Israelis and Palestinians over the past week.
What the United States can do, however, is to send in peacemakers. The level of violence and terrorism has reached a crisis. Outside negotiators are needed to try to bring about a resolution to the conflict.
Since Sept. 11, the United States has engaged in an international war against terrorism. That effort must now focus on Israel and the Palestinian territories, where the situation has gotten completely out of hand.
President Bushs request Monday that Yasser Arafat denounce terrorist acts against Israel was a step in the right direction. In the long term, international peacekeeping forces might be needed in the area to make sure that any pledge of non-violence goes beyond words and is translated into peace.