homepage logo

An increase in accidents and incidents

By Staff | Jul 6, 2012

Dear editor,

It was with great interest that I read Stephen Smith’s letter to the Editor of June 15. I have lived part-time on Sanibel Island for 18 years, and full time for the past 18 months.

During this period, I have witnessed an enormous proliferation of cyclists on our roadways. It started with the color coordinated Lycra/Spandex crowd, and has grown to include both tourists and children as well. Mr. Smith, in my opinion, is absolutely correct. If we take no action on this issue, there will indeed be an increase in accidents and incidents.

I disagree, however, with Mr. Smith’s solution to the problem. His recommendation is simple and straightforward. He suggests that we take money from the coffers of City government to construct additional bike paths for those that seek vigorous aerobic exercise.


I think this solution, unfortunately, is consistent with the entitlement attitude prevalent throughout our country today. The common mantra is to scream foul and then demand that we carelessly spend tax dollars in order to placate all disenchanted special interest groups. As such, I strongly oppose his recommendation.

As an alternative, I would offer Mr. Smith the following solutions that would help him achieve his vigorous exercise routine, while saving taxpayer money.

Option 1: Buy a stationary bike for your home. You can achieve the desired aerobic effect, and save money on color coordinated outfits. Old gym shorts and a tee shirt work quite well.

Option 2: Join a health club. For a nominal fee, you can choose a multitude of stationary bikes to ride, meet new people, and save the capital outlay of purchasing your own stationary bike.

As for Option 3, it is in reference to Mr. Smith’s representation that Florida law allows bikers on streets provided they obey traffic law. I assume this to be a statement of fact, but am befuddled how riding a bike 12-15 mph in a 30 mph zone is considered to be obeying traffic law. Nonetheless, in a spirit of compromise, I would suggest we consider establishing certain times that cyclists can ride on designated roads throughout our community, where vehicular traffic is limited to local residents only. Possibly 6-8 a.m. and 6 p.m. to dusk would work.

As stated earlier, I agree with Mr. Smith’s premise that there is an inherent risk of an increase in accidents and incidents if we do not address the increase of cyclists on our roadways. But I vehemently disagree that allocating tax dollars to appease a special interest group is the only, or best, solution.

Dave Brown