The Tuesday letter, “They don’t have any claim to rights” could be dismissed as pure ignorance except for the fact that the writer is “a professional transit driver.” The fact of the matter is that bicycle riders do have rights, according to the Revised Code of Washington. We don’t pay taxes to improve the road because a bicycle doesn’t damage the road. We don’t pay taxes on gasoline because bicycles don’t consume gasoline and don’t pollute. Finally, we don’t pay insurance because any accident caused by us will result in our own harm, not someone else’s.
I know there are cyclists who don’t follow the law, and I don’t condone their behavior, but the same could be said for many of the motorists I encounter while on my bike. Considering that the majority of bicycle-automobile accidents are the fault of the motorist (Portland Transportation crash database 1998-2001), I find the writer’s attitude decidedly “unprofessional” and, quite frankly, dangerous.