Comment of the Week: A mom on protected bike lanes and disability

May 20, 2015

Michael Andersen, Green Lane Project staff writer

alki beach seattle
A protected bike lane on Alki Avenue, Seattle.

Amid the discussion beneath yesterday’s post about the new federal design manual about protected bike lanes, an interesting exchange popped up.

First, a biking advocate named Cherokee Schill, who is skeptical of protected bike lanes, asked this:

What about those who can’t ride a bicycle. How do these special interest projects funded with tax payer dollars benefit the disabled and elderly?
Shouldn’t we be fighting for public roads which create safe mobility options for everyone?

Schill’s questions prompted¬†this comment from a woman named Linda Phare Harding:

My son is disabled (epilepsy) and rides his bike every day to work, to the store, to entertainment. Plenty of disabled people will feel safe enough using these bike lanes instead of sitting at home. Taxpayer money has been spent to enable the disabled to lead a more ‘normal’ and fulfilling life, these bike lanes are for everyone. Frankly, I’m tired of worrying everyday that he will not make it back home in one piece, so, guess I’ll be benefiting from the lanes too, even though I’ve not been on a bike for years.

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