Bike Lane

Bikes, whether powered by gas or pedals, remain a complicated issue on our country's roadways. For many motorists, two-wheelers can be a nuisance, whether it be a cyclist holding up traffic on a two-lane road or a motorcyclist weaving between cars, while two-wheeled enthusiasts believe (some would say correctly) that they have as much reason and right to be on the road as automobiles.

The difficult relationship between bikes and cars was brought to a head in Suffolk County, NY, when a 70-year-old member of the county legislature had some tough words in response to a 17-year-old citizen's letter.

Matthew Cutrone, 17, wrote to Suffolk County Legislature member Thomas F. Barraga after his mother was knocked from her bicycle by an inattentive motorist, according to the two-wheeled fanatics at Visordown. In his letter, Cutrone suggested "there should be some sort of bike lane or maybe just some warning signs," to make things safer for bike riders. Sounds like a reasonable request, right? Not to Barraga.

In a response that reads more or less as "Get off my lawn," Barraga wrote, "I have lived in West Islip most of my life and my personal feeling is that no one who lives in our hamlet or for that matter in Suffolk County should ever ride a bicycle or motorcycle." As for why the road should be the sole domain of the car? Barraga argues, "drivers expect to see other drivers on the road not bicyclists and motorcyclists."

Whose side are you taking in this? Is Cutrone asking too much by requesting a bike lane or a few simple signs, or are Barraga's comments on bikes and motorcycles out of line? Have your say in Comments.