Letter: Don’t blame bicyclists for using bike path

To quote Yanira Kilgore’s letter (“Dangerous bicyclists need to learn to share the path”) in the Sept. 12 issue, “…everyone uses this path.” Gee, I don’t know why bicyclists would feel they have to explain that it’s a bike path. Meanwhile, they’re moving, so it’s going to be quick. They’re bicycling, remember? I’ve done that, assuming people don’t know.

I’ve always blamed inadequate signage. But Kilgore knows it’s a bike path, and still finds a way to blame the bicyclist for doing something crazy like trying to bike on it. What an outrageous idea!

Since pedestrians have the right of way, it shouldn’t be a problem to push a double stroller in the street, by her logic. So why reserve such venom for bicyclists?

How many places in Boston can you name that don’t have streets going to them? How many streets can you think of that don’t have at least one sidewalk? Infrastructure for cars and pedestrians is everywhere. Now, how about bikes? There’s around 80 miles for bikes in the whole city. Most of that is bike lanes painted on the streets. Separate bike paths are rare and treasured.

Countless times when biking on the path, I’ve been obstructed by strollers, dogs crisscrossing on leashes, people oblivious to being on a bike path. Some people walk and jog down the middle, headphones on, or let their kids and dogs run around. They walk strollers side by side or walk in a bunch.

Pedestrians routinely stay out of the streets. If they are crossing or walking there, they are respectful of cars using the street for its intended purpose. Extend the same courtesy. Be aware of bikes for which the path is intended.

Bicycling depends on balance and effort, more than just moving your foot from one pedal to another. You can tell by the ease with which our taxpaying, stroller-pushing U.S. resident can contemplate seriously injuring and probably killing her JP neighbors. It’s essential that bicyclists have a clear path for their and everyone’s safety.

Kilgore needs a time out. Maybe a nap would help. Then maybe she wouldn’t feel she has to trumpet her violent hostility to the whole neighborhood.

Claire E. Humphrey

Jamaica Plain

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