While we all have observed cyclists running stop signs and lights, the percentage of bicycle-injury accidents resulting from such behavior is low. The Kahn/Carlson bill (HF4245) is a good idea.
Cyclists usually travel at much slower speeds than cars and are more aware of their environment. Under this bill, the burden would be on the cyclist to ensure that no traffic or pedestrian will be affected by his or her actions at an intersection.
Most of us take turns playing the role of motorist, pedestrian and, sometimes, cyclist. Given the way we all complain about each other, we must be doing a pretty poor job, and we could all improve.
BOB HAIN, MINNEAPOLIS
Drive and ride legally
Drivers get emotional about bicycles (letters, June 2). A moment's reflection on Photo Cop reminds us cars run red lights and violators were quick to dodge responsibility. After reading Minnesota's definition of a "stop," count vehicles running any stop sign. Cars will outnumber bikes, hands down.
We already have a bike/narrow-street law: A rider may move to the lane center to prevent cars from dangerously squeezing by, and a compromise of putting 25-mph riders onto a 10-mph path makes no sense.
Motorists often make up laws and complain that riders violate them... like being pedestrian or a vehicle. Both are legal, and for that to be possible, a rider must be able to switch. Sometimes turning myself into a pedestrian is the only way I can turn left at a signal that ignores me.
Some cities put signal request buttons in easy reach of cyclists. Not here. Imagine the outrage if drivers, to get a green light, had to hop out of their cars and run to a button on the other side of the sidewalk. We don't even place buttons conveniently along bike/pedestrian paths and sidewalks.
Bicyclists have no reason to be snug about obeying laws, but neither do motorists. Before complaining about others, check out your own behavior and of others using your mode of transportation. Also read both the motor vehicle and bicycle laws. Everyone should know both.
Take bike lanes, for example. Motorists drive in them when it's illegal and don't when required. Required? Yes. When a turn would cross a bike lane, motorists are required to drive into the bike lane prior to turning. On the other hand, turn legally, and under-informed riders yell at you. Ignore them. Turns from the "wrong" lane are confusing and dangerous. Drive and ride legally.
JOHN KAPLAN, ST. PAUL
Talk about an astronomical outhouse
I know NASA derives a lot of valuable scientific information from our space program but a billion-dollar toilet? That being the estimated cost of sending Discovery to our space station to replace a faulty toilet part, this seems bit ridiculous and shortsighted, when had an old-fashioned "two holer" been installed originally, we could have put that money to better use, possibly replacing faulty bridges.
DAVE RAND, MINNEAPOLIS
The experience canard
I am already weary of the "Obama has no experience" phrase being uttered by every Republican and many Clinton supporters. In 2004 George W. Bush had more experience than anyone else in the race since no one else had ever held the office of the president. Dick Cheney had been in Washington for decades. It would have been difficult to find a more experienced ticket.
But what the last eight years have taught us in the most agonizing way is that "experience combined with poor judgment" makes the "experience" part of the equation nearly worthless.
Barack Obama has as much experience as many of our previous presidents and he is extremely smart, which will be a nice change of pace. He has demonstrated the ability to inspire people and build bridges. This country is in dire need of both. It is time to put the lying, spying and dying behind us and this will not happen with a McCain administration.
SUSAN BARRETT, SOUTH ST. PAUL
It's Lynx time, Minnesota!
We all know Minnesotans love a winner. And while the Minnesota Lynx did not stay undefeated, what they will remain is a very young, dynamic and exciting team! I have had season tickets for many years and it's been great to see Seimoine Augustus playing on a team. Each game three or four players have been in double figures. Minnesota, it's time to come see for yourself. You won't be disappointed.
KAREN SMITH, ST. PAUL
Master craftsman at work
I do hope readers appreciate Jim Souhan's writing and reporting skills. His recent columns pointing out the weaknesses of the New York Yankees team and organization have been superbly crafted. His analyses and logic are well-founded, his use of metaphors and adjectives well-chosen. He has also, quite subtly, introduced the topic of what successful baseball is going to require now that steroids are leaving the game.
Reading Souhan is like watching a well-managed baseball game. As with "Billy-ball," the strategy is most enjoyed when the execution is impeccable.
DAVE PORTER, MINNEAPOLIS