Make rules against blocking sidewalks

To the editor:

If customers parking their bicycles in such a way as to block sidewalks is the problem, then the ordinance being considered by the city council should simply be against blocking sidewalks. This would achieve two objectives.

First, it would allow the police to take whatever action is necessary to unblock a sidewalk no matter what is blocking it. After all, there are many objects (and people) that could block a sidewalk (just use your imagination), so why isolate the blame on bicycles?

Second, it would allow conscientious bicyclists the right to lock their bicycles to any convenient pillar or post as long as they were not blocking the sidewalk.

I do not foresee a time when every downtown business provides a bicycle rack for its customers. Neither do I see that the city has made much of an attempt to replace the bike racks that used to be present on the sidewalks, nor have I seen any proposal to greatly increase the number of bike racks in car parking places. If this city wants to call itself bike-friendly, it really has to do more than paint a few lines and sharrows and place a few bike racks in inconvenient places for customers shopping on South Main and West College.

Make the ordinance fit the problem. Nothing more and nothing less.

Kevin Weidenbaum