Bikers, pedestrians should use pathways

info@islandpacket.comOctober 5, 2012 

Safety is the purpose of most highway laws. We build costly pathways alongside our highways to provide a safe place for walkers, joggers and bikers, and sometimes golf carts, yet many are determined to use the highway for their athletic enjoyment.

Of particular interest to me is the Bluffton Parkway, with smooth, wide paths on both sides to provide safety for non-vehicular traffic. Still, many bikers feel compelled to ride on the significantly more dangerous road, sometimes as a long riding group or two abreast.

The same occurs in Sun City Hilton Head, where joggers and bikers prefer to use the busy roads because they can, not because it is safe. Some of these retirees walk the roads for any number of insane reasons â€" for example, the sidewalks are too rough, it's their right or the concrete is too hard. I even saw a biker riding the wrong way on Sun City Boulevard after dark with no lights whatsoever. I won't mention the joggers dressed in dark colors testing their luck before daylight against the oncoming traffic.

My solution is to permit only motor vehicle travel on roads where sidewalks are provided. And the sidewalks should ban autos and trucks. Severe fines should be assessed for violations of either. This should be accomplished because we want safety for everyone. No one wants to have an accident with a pedestrian or a biker and suffer the pain of inflicting severe injury or death on another.

Jim Dove

Bluffton

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