LETTER- Build more bike lanes

Great article: "I want to ride my bicycle," May 31! We need more articles like this one. If you build it, they will ride.

I think more people would ride their bicycles to work if they had a safe way to get there and a place to shower when they arrived. If would be a great public service if the Hook could have a weekly update on bike lane progress.

I visited Strasburg, France, and it was wonderful to see everyone commuting to work by bike and light rail.

This concept works, and Charlottesville could overtake Williamsburg in leading the way for Virginia.

Joe Connor



Mr. Connor is right. "If you build it, they do indeed come" but unfortunately what America (and Virginia) does is build more highways in spite of the fact that researchs shows that 90 percent of American urban highways are overwhelmed with congestion within five years of their opening.

Places which have built hike/bike lanes and trails have higher percentages of muscle-powered commuters, have safer environments, have happier environments (because neighbors are more likely to see and know each other) and, for all of those reasons, have healthier populations.

He mentions Europe. The Europeans took the Arabs at their word in 1973 and 1979 when OPEC said very loudly, and clearly, (9 of 11 OPEC nations are Moslem) that Western support of Israel would cost. The Europeans since that time have taxed gasoline heavily and used those funds to build mass transit and hike/bike lanes. In most places in Europe, few people drive today for distances less than five miles but in America, where 40 percent of our daily trips (according to DOT) are less than five miles, statistically almost no one actually walks or bikes. We should be shocked to know that the world's cities with the highest per capita income are NOT here. Primarily, these financially booming cities are in Europe and Asia which have well-developed mass transit and muscle-powered

This dichotomy is part of the fact that three in four across Europe (including in our friend, The United Kingdom) told the Pew Charitable Trust in 2002 that if we went into Iraq it would be "blood for oil."

It would be nice if worksites would cater a little more to help the needs of the "biking commuter". I enjoy riding to work when the weather permits.
Growing up in Japan in the 1950's all Japanese either rode a bike to work on dirt roads or else they took the train into the workplace. Few drove to work. I'm sure it's must be the opposite now over their but I think it's our turn to bike more and drive less whenever we can.

The City would also do well to consider bike lanes within town that are not parallel to roads (other than the proposed loop trail). There now exist two perfect corridors on which to build bike lanes, namely the two railroad easements that run through Charlottesville. Acquiring permission to build bike lanes parallel to the CSX and NS tracks would require negotiation with the two corporations. However, given the fact that railroads were originally given the power of eminent domain with which to condemn private lands (and the corresponding assumption that the railroads were "public uses" within the meaning of the 5th Amendment, it only seems fair that these easements be used for more than one public use. Assuming sufficient space parallel to the train tracks exists, bike/pedestrian trails would appear to be a perfect second use for these corridors.