The Norman Transcript

Columns

February 25, 2013

Bike lanes would be vast improvement

NORMAN — After 20 years of living in Norman, I have come to a realization: My relationship with biking within the city is analogous to many Normanites’ relationship with God — loving but incredibly fearful. After nearly being run over twice in three days while on my way to class, I concluded that I do not want to meet any sort of maker anytime soon. After discussing this with other cyclists, Normanites and OU students alike, they indicated to me that they would not prefer a premature meeting with their makers as well or any sort of incident that comes close while biking. Thus, we agreed that for the safety of residents and students, the city of Norman needs bike lanes, and at the rate of its 21st century growth, it needs them now.

Given its compact nature, there is no reason why Norman should not be a bike-friendly city. One could have a picnic lunch at Lions Park and feed Duck Pond ducks the leftovers of that lunch in a 10-minute ride (maybe more if the lunch is sitting quite large in your stomach). However, there are no bike lanes on Main. There are no bike lanes on Lindsey. There are no bike lanes on Classen. There are no bike lanes on Robinson. There is one bike lane on Boyd, but it lies in a road-least-traveled no man’s land between East 12th and Classen. Outside of residential areas, there are no north/south streets with bike lanes in the entire city. However, there are streets demarcated with green signs saying “bike route” everywhere in Norman. Unfortunately, they are just that. They do not make anyone safer.

 One may ask the question, “Why not just ride on the sidewalk?” The answer is that sidewalks should be a safe place for pedestrians and not zooming bicycles, for which they are the devil incarnate in pavement form. They tend to be poorly maintained, usually at uneven elevations, wind capriciously, end suddenly, and riding upon one will cause a particularly feisty Labrador to chase you and nip at your heels while riding along to the library on Webster, as I have found. Thus, both sidewalks and Labradors on Webster are the devil. Unfortunately, both of these somewhat sour the experience of biking in Norman. 

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Columns
  • Norman Forward builds momentum

    The quiet campaign to build momentum for a citywide public works project is beginning to attract some attention....

    July 20, 2014

  • Tax those trees out of here

    I read your editorial “Pesky red cedars” in the Norman Transcript of Tuesday, July 15, 2014. I have attended two meetings where the problem of the eastern red cedar trees was discussed. Because of the drought conditions in Oklahoma, we ...

    July 20, 2014

  • Make gun safety a health issue

    Quick, are you more likely to die by a bullet or in a car crash? Common sense would seem to suggest the latter. Cars are everywhere. We are an auto-obsessed nation. To be American is to drive — everywhere. Teenagers itch to get behind the ...

    July 20, 2014

  • They just want to be free ... maybe

    Massoud Barzani, president of Iraq’s semiautonomous Kurdistan region, rattled many cages this month when he announced in parliament that the KRG would be moving ahead soon on a referendum on independence from Iraq. If Kurdistan goes ahead ...

    July 20, 2014

  • Congress must accelerate solutions

    Congress has roused itself, at the last minute, and now is scrambling to save the Highway Trust Fund. Better late than never. Better still will be if lawmakers agree to come up with the money to prevent the fund from becoming insolvent. ...

    July 20, 2014

  • The heavy burden of college aid

    Return on investment is a clear measure of what you get for your money. Incredibly, the federal government doesn’t apply that simple concept to the $137 billion a year it spends on college financial aid....

    July 19, 2014

  • James bears weight of Cav’s dreams

    LeBron James has done it all on a basketball court. He’s a great scorer, rugged defender, proven big-play leader and champion. But that might not be enough in Cleveland, where he’ll also need the powers of Merlin the Magician....

    July 17, 2014

  • Steve Boaz.jpg Breathing Rhythm Studio a center for creativity

    Recording engineer Steve Boaz has brought his musical ambitions to fulfillment in a downtown Norman studio.

    July 14, 2014 1 Photo

  • Matt Lauer is so last century

    How about we rename “The Today Show” the “Yesterday Show” since host Matt Lauer asks questions from 1953? Isn’t what Lauer asked GM CEO Mary Barra about whether she’ll do “well” at being simultaneously an executive and a mom about, oh, 30 ...

    July 14, 2014

  • Religion’s role shrinking

    Surveying the response to last month’s Hobby Lobby decision, I was struck by a comment from progressive Massachusetts senator and possible Democratic presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren....

    July 12, 2014