In a 20 February 2008 Post-Gazette Letter to the Editor, Department of Public Works foreman Melanie G. Hall stated:
“It also would be useful if there were a law against people riding bicycles in snow and icy conditions on public streets. They are a major hazard to driving in any weather, but especially in bad weather.”
Bicyclists are not driving hazards like that guy in the monster SUV talking on his cell phone or the woman with the double grande mocha latte trying to fix her makeup in the rear view mirror. A 200 pound bicycle and rider is not a hazard like that distracted, impaired or aggressive driver safely wrapped in two tons of hurtling steel. Bicyclists are not driving hazards like the irate motorist who chased a cyclist up onto the sidewalk to run him down. Bicyclists are not driving hazards like potholes, parallel-slot storm drains and un-cleared snow.
It is inappropriate for a City manager, whose job it is to maintain safe roads for ALL users, to declare bicyclists to be second-class citizens. Ms.Hall’s comments reflect those of many bad and aggressive drivers who think THEY own the road and that roads are for the exclusive use of automobiles. In point of fact, it was the bicyclists of the 1890’s DEMANDING better roads that lead to roads being paved in the first place. I suggest that Ms.Hall actually read the Uniform Vehicle Code and Pennsylvania Vehicle Code.There she will see that bicycles have every right to be on the road and it’s her job, not to advocate for their prohibition, but to make those roads safe for their use.
And here I had been praising DPW for their timely plowing of last week’s snow on the Eliza Furnace Trail.