Bob T emailed me a letter-to-the-editor on our Statesman website. Tucked between the political rants (I am SO weary of partisan politics!!) is a letter from Sharon Scudder, of Horseshoe Bend. Here it is, in its entirety:
Cyclists, pedestrians should face traffic
Making people ride bikes, jog and walk with their backs to oncoming traffic is the dumbest law on the books.
If a driver is drunk, has a heart attack or falls asleep, is distracted because of a cell phone or veers into a pedestrian, the pedestrian never sees it coming or has no chance of saving his or her own life. The pedestrian is dead.
Come on people, get your heads out of the sand. Change your stupid law. Save some lives. I rest my case.
Did she convince you? Personally I'm trying to imagine a situation where a cyclist sees that oncoming vehicle, with drunk or asleep driver behind the wheel, and reacts with lightning reflexes, scooting to safety. Could it happen? Conceivably, I s'pose. The downside, of course, is that with car and bicycle converging much more quickly, the cyclist increases the likelihood of being killed or maimed by a sober, wide-awake motorist.
To the best of my knowledge, there is no law prohibiting pedestrians from walking/running facing traffic. And in fact, it's recommended.
It's unlikely that Ms. Scudder is reacting angrily to a ticket she received, since that against-traffic law may be in the book, but it's not enforced.