The Norman Transcript

Opinion

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
Opinion
  • Reform is necessary

    Editor, The Transcript: Last year, the legislature passed laws reforming the Oklahoma Department of Veterans Affairs, which was a good start, but more is needed. Recent media reports have revealed that the ODVA employs M.D. and D.O. ...

    April 20, 2014

  • Keep your brain cells

    Editor, The Transcript: Hey kids. Four centuries ago, Shakespeare wrote about life’s seven great adventures. I forget his exact words, but they were something like this: 1. Our birth; none of us can remember it, but never the less, it is ...

    April 20, 2014

  • Don’t let moderation confuse you

    Jeb Bush’s recent compassionate comments on immigration show how far apart he is from the far right of the Republican Party....

    April 20, 2014

  • Priest’s execution should spur action

    In the hierarchy of saints, martyrs are on the highest rung of the celestial ladder, at least for me....

    April 20, 2014

  • Settlers found opportunities in red dirt fields

    There are few constants in families where the teenagers and soon-to-be teenagers outnumber their parents. One things holds true at my home: Nobody gets out of bed in the morning before dear old Dad....

    April 20, 2014

  • Necessary services may be reduced

    Editor, The Transcript: There were criticisms of the Oklahoma Senate bill for a test project to privatize management of Medicaid; however, no one mentioned a critical issue of reduced services for the more needy of our society....

    April 20, 2014

  • Enforcement not the issue

    Editor, The Transcript: The government is legally right in the U.S. Government vs. Bundy Ranch matter....

    April 20, 2014

  • Family thanks community, takes issue with photo

    Editor, The Transcript: As I write this, it’s been almost eight weeks since Feb. 17, the day my family’s home burned in a fire. We lost our 15-year-old cat, Misti; 7-year-old dog, Sully; 3-year-old rescue squirrel, Rocky; almost 2-year-old ...

    April 20, 2014

  • Dancing forward

    The official motto for Mike Fowler’s chairmanship of the Norman Chamber of Commerce is “Moving Norman Forward.” But after Thursday night’s annual banquet, the sub-theme should be, “Let’s Dance, Norman.” More than 500 chamber members and ...

    April 19, 2014

  • NRA members need to step up

    Please, Mr. Bloomberg, leave the checkbook open, but step away from the podium. Your efforts to curb gun violence and improve safety are notable. The National Rifle Association thanks you....

    April 19, 2014