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Safety issues deter bicycle commuters

Dear Editor,

Dear Glenwood City Council, Police Department, Downtown Development Authority and Chamber Resort Association,

I congratulate you in sponsoring “Bike to Work and School Week” May 11-17. Biking is good for our citizens, our town and our planet.

However, most people will not commute – or allow their children to commute – on foot or by bicycle UNLESS THEY FEEL SAFE! Unfortunately, when walking or riding a bike, Glenwood does not often feel like a particularly safe place.

Broken glass, unleashed dogs, dog poop and motor vehicles parked on the bike trails are dangers that pedestrians and cyclists face daily.

Many of the portals to our trails are hazardous, particularly at the downtown elementary school, the high school, Safeway and at the eastern trail entrance to Two Rivers Park. The south end of the Grand Avenue bridge and 23rd Street present unnecessary challenges, as well.

On our side streets, speeding cars, vehicles rolling through stop signs and improperly parked cars and delivery trucks regularly threaten riders and walkers.

Along South Glen Avenue, large vehicles are often parked on the shoulder. Dumpsters, tow trucks, U-Hauls and other motor vehicles are allowed to protrude onto the sidewalk. As a result, neither the shoulder nor the sidewalk feel safe.

Signs downtown forbid biking on the sidewalks. Yet, only the boldest riders can dare to venture out onto Grand Avenue. Speeding, aggressive driving, running red lights, stopping in cross walks, and turning on red while pedestrians are present are all too common and make our downtown streets a very scary place for anyone not surrounded by tons of steel.

As long as motor vehicles are allowed to rule in Glenwood, people will stay in their cars. If you truly want to encourage walking and bicycling, then you must join together and take bold steps to make people-powered transportation a priority, not something you promote once a year.

MAKE WALKING AND BIKING IN GLENWOOD SAFE! If you do, our health-conscious, outdoor-loving community and our tourists will respond accordingly. Thank you.

Mary Bowling,

bike commuter


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