Advocates duke it out in Newpapers’ Opinion Sections


Letters flood the Papers demanding safe streets

Enough is enough. The public won’t stay quiet any longer. People are taking action and making their voices heard in the Post-Gazette’s and Tribune Review’s Opinion Sections; telling their stories, calling for action, and setting the record straight with real data (yes, people who ride bikes pay taxes, and in fact, they probably pay more than those who drive exclusively).

Thank you to everyone who’s spoken up with letters and comments sections. Lets keep the momentum going! Here are 10 actions you can take to remember and fight for change. And here’s our guide to getting your letter published in the paper.

Here are some snippets of how people have been #winning in the Opinion Section:


Pitt should be addressing pedestrian safety issues

Lucinda Randall, November 5th

As a Pitt parent and someone who will always have close personal friends and colleagues on campus, it is my hope that the University of Pittsburgh will step up to fix the pedestrian risk problems that remain on campus.

Bike Pittsburgh has been memorializing the second and third people to die in one week in the immediate vicinity (“Cycling Group Pleads for Oakland Safety Action: Area Has Had 3 Fatalities in 4 Days,” Oct. 29). As I read this in the PG, it struck me — why is a grass-roots nonprofit leading these efforts to recognize the value of human life lost to preventable accidents?

Cyclists will outnumber drivers someday

Mike Wagner, November 4th

In a recent letter in opposition to bike lanes and the use of city streets by cyclists (“Ride Bicycles on Trails, Not on Roadways,” Oct. 31), Lewis J. Hardway asserted that “cyclists will never outnumber drivers in and around the city.”

I disagree. Cyclists will outnumber drivers. The only question is when.

Brian O’Neill: We all pay for city streets, so make them safe for all

Brian O’Neil, November 1st

Ms. Hicks, 34, had a right to be on the road. She also had ridden enough to know that many motorists resent any cyclist on the asphalt. Her death was an accident, but some of the cold, misinformed online comments beneath the resulting stories were as predictable as they were heartless.

Let’s begin with the premise of many of my fellow motorists that taxes and fees on our cars and gasoline fully pay for the roads. They don’t, not here and not anywhere.

For safe streets, enforce laws for everyone

– Jonathan Lavine and Teri Dankovich, October 29th

Pittsburgh’s reckless car culture has to change. As we write this, we have just come from a walk in Frick Park: another glorious day in Pittsburgh, another day of cars flying by and ignoring the fluorescent crosswalks along Braddock Avenue.

As transplants, we have a radical proposal we’ve seen work in other cities: have the police enforce existing traffic laws. Give tickets when cars don’t stop for people in crosswalks.

We’ll all be riding trains!

T.J. Engle, November 4th

Now that I think about it, motorcycles will lose in a collision with a car so they shouldn’t be allowed on the roads either. But what about if a car collides with a semi? The car would lose, so I guess we should ban cars. And, of course, train beats semi, so they’re out now, too. I don’t know what beats train, so I guess “All aboard!”

A well thought-out comment. Thank you for opening my eyes.

Protected bike lanes help to get drivers off the road and onto bikes

Matt Pascal, Swissvale October 29th

We need more bike paths and, at the very least, protected bike lanes in Pittsburgh. This would entice many people to commute by bike. For drivers, this would mean fewer cars on the highway and at each red light, more parking spaces at their destinations and no bikes getting in their way in between. For workers, this would provide a safe way to commute by bike, not to mention cleaner air to breathe while biking.

We’ve had major progress in recent years in this arena, but it must get even better.

Blaiming Bicyclists

Brady Lutsko, South Side October 28th

While I understand remarks about using a light and helmet may not have been intended to disparage, when made in response to this loss of life, they imply the deceased was somehow responsible for her own demise. More disturbing though, are those directing outrage at cyclists instead of condemning a careless driver who killed someone.
This tragedy occurred in broad daylight with no indication of the victim breaking any laws. Neither a better helmet, nor any strobe-light, would have saved her. The only things that could have changed the outcome were the actions of the driver who caused the crash.

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