Letters to the Editor: May 16 – 22, 2019
Bicyclists Making Walking Hazardous in Falls Church
We’ve lived in Falls Church for 20 years and like many residents, we enjoy walking around our little city. In the last three years, though, bicyclists are making this an increasingly hazardous form of recreation.
Not most bicyclists. Just an increasing minority who put others — bicyclists, pedestrians, and drivers alike — at risk. This shouldn’t be a surprise. The phenomenon mirrors car drivers in our culture, where a minority seems increasingly aggressive and angry, endangering others.
I can’t tell you the number of times that bikers have blown past me a couple of inches away on the bike path, without any warning. And yesterday, crossing the intersection of Park Ave. and Pennsylvania Ave., a biker in full racing regalia blew through the intersection at high speed, not even slowing for the stop sign, passing three feet in front of me on the crosswalk. It’s a good thing I saw him coming and slowed down.
Pedestrians are not blameless. I’ve seen them wander into the other lane on the bike path, make unannounced u-turns, or fail to keep their dogs under close control. Last month, one passing biker, at high speed on the most congested part of the bike path (between N. West St. and N. Washington St.), exploded in rage at a pedestrian whose dog was sniffing another on the path. Path rage is unlikely to help. A more courteous, relaxed suggestion that the dog owners take their dogs off the path to play would have been more productive.
It’s a matter of time before there is a very serious accident or even a death due to increasing disregard for the laws which govern bikers in the city.
My suggestion is that the Falls Church police begin to ticket bikers who blow through stop signs or violate the law in other ways that endanger themselves and others. That message would travel quickly and we could all get back to enjoying the city’s wonderful walking and riding opportunities.
Stop Complaining About Parking & Try Walking More
I am thrilled to see the large number of Bikeshare locations taking hold in the City of Falls Church. In addition in increasing environmentally friendly options for getting around FCC, these bike share options integrate us with D.C. and the young, progressive mindset of our nation’s capital. For those who object to the loss of two or three parking spaces taken up by the bike locations, please consider walking one block.
We are very fortunate in the City of Falls Church to have numerous parking options on side streets merely one block off of Broad Street, Lee Hwy, and other major thoroughfares. We are among the wealthiest, most educated population of the region. To insinuate that it is beneath us to walk one additional block (after parking for free) to get to our destination because parking spots have been designated for environmentally-friendly bike share programs is juvenile and entitled.
I sincerely hope that the majority of Falls Church residents see the wisdom of this approach, and the benefits of an environmentally-friendly future. Please put the car a few paces away and enjoy the fresh air in reaching your final destination. Your body, your mind, and your conscience will thank you.
Or better yet, keep the car in the garage and walk or bike within the City.
Thank You, Charlie Clark, For Your Great Column
Since moving to Falls Church in 2005, there have been many changes in ”The Little City.”
One thing that hasn’t changed is that every week,” Our Man in Arlington,” Charlie Clark, has provided both a window to the past and the pulse of modern day Arlington, our near neighbors. Through his column, I have learned a lot about the areas history, as well as checking out the many businesses he writes about!
Thank you Nicholas Benton and the News-Press for providing the forum for such a great column, and thank you, Charlie Clark — you’re a real treasure!