There's an interesting letter-to-the-editor at the Daily Paper today. (Click HERE to link to the online version; the letter is titled "Thank you, ACHD.")
The author, Heather Culig, is lauding the Highway District for installing sidewalks along Cloverdale Road, between McMillan and Ustick. (For those who may not be familiar, much of the west side of Boise is a grid of arterial roads, exactly 1 mile apart, with neighborhood roads in between. All three roads mentioned are such arterials; Cloverdale is a busy 2-lane, but with pretty good width.)
Ms. Culig is glad that finally "... bikers have a designated area away from traffic..."
Now, I think it's wonderful that kids on bikes, etc., have a place where they feel a bit more secure. And I hope the sidewalk gets worn out from the mixed use Ms. Culig envisions.
But it just goes to show how different two peoples' viewpoints can be. I am traffic!
I ride that stretch of Cloverdale on a regular basis. Unless the pavement width has been altered by the new sidewalks, I would never even consider using them, because I've never felt uncomfortable on the road. (Sure, during "rush hour," it might be unnerving to someone who is not accustomed to having all those cars go by in fairly close proximity. But I watch my rearview, I'm where I should be, I'm riding predictably and visibly and defensively... and I've never had a problem.)
(I should also mention... all those cars going by during rush hour? Almost without fail, I overtake them, and many others, at the next traffic signal anyway.)
I'll be disappointed if Ms. Culig or somebody else hollers at me to "get on the sidewalk where you belong!" (I get that on very rare occasions - I'd say 2 or 3 times a year. It distresses me, because it's always hollered by somebody who isn't aware of traffic laws or the principles of effective transportation cycling.)