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Cyclists have nothing to fear on bike paths – Chico Enterprise-Record

It is already clear that the right-wing campaign for the municipal elections this fall will be one of fear-mongering and lies. I don’t know if Tom Bond’s recent letter (“If bike lanes aren’t safe for cyclists”) is a deliberate part of that campaign or the product of a distorted imagination, but it certainly does not represent the reality in the Chico I live in .

My wife and I are definitely in the older age groups. I use the bike for most of my local transportation and we ride our tandem together most mornings for recreation and errands. We ride quite often on literally every bike path in the city. We have never seen a path blocked by tents and we have never encountered anyone who made us feel threatened or unsafe.

Yes, due to the current municipality’s approach to homelessness, we do see waste and tents next to paths. But just seeing something ugly does not equal danger. Occasionally, people camping near a trail will stand on the trail and have a conversation. We slow down and ring the bell on the bike and they politely apologize and walk forward.

What occasionally makes us feel unsafe on bikes is that too many drivers drive twice the speed limit and casually run red lights, which is made worse by the fact that the Chico Police Department has clearly abandoned traffic enforcement. Real public safety would start with getting speeding under control.

—David Welch, Chico