To the Editor,
The City of Santa Monica and the greater Los Angeles area is doing it wrong. Bicycle lanes are painted throughout neighborhoods and busy thorough fares.
Fatalities and serious injuries have increased as a result.
These painted bike lanes are unsafe. Parked cars pulling out from their spaces hit cyclists, at or near intersections automobiles making right turns hit cyclists as they merge or cross bicycle lanes. Bicycles and cars mixed together are a deadly combination.
The only way to make life safer for cyclists in Santa Monica and the greater Los Angeles area is to separate bicycles from cars. How do we do this? The same way we separate pedestrians from cars, with sidewalks. Dutch Sidewalks in particular. These are sidewalks with 2-way bicycle lanes built into them. They have a proven track record of reducing automobile-bicycle collisions.
Here is a link to an image of one type of Dutch Sidewalk where the bicycle lane is built into the sidewalk and completely separates the rider from automobiles: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cycling_in_the_Netherlands#/media/File%3ABicycle_lane_Dronten.JPG
The City of Davis in Northern California started building this type of infrastructure to increased the safety of their bicycle riders. They learned how this was done in the Netherlands and wanted to increase bicycle ridership while maintaining their safety and well-being.
Santa Monica City leaders will hopefully take the initiative in the southland and make life safer for children and adults by investing in Dutch Sidewalks in the same way the City of Davis has.