Reader: We need new traffic engineers 


I have resided in Colorado Springs since 1971, teaching/administering at Pikes Peak Community College from 1972 through 2003. I have been a homeowner here since 1974. I am not philosophically or mindlessly opposed to bicycles or to encouraging their use. "Encouraging" does not mean "mandating," nor does it mean "creative destruction" of the sort that Ms. [Kathleen Krager, senior traffic engineer] often seems to advocate. It means the careful, patient construction of trails devoted to bicycle traffic, a project that we've already begun and made significant progress on. For a number of reasons, Americans are not likely to safely and successfully mix auto and bicycle traffic as do, for example, many European countries.

One reason is that we are not Europeans. We live in a culture in which "individual rights" are constantly promoted as paramount, and that is how we behave. Another reason, related to the first, is that the high-handed, self-righteous attitude bicycle advocates like Ms. Krager exhibit, and that many bicyclists exhibit in their blithe indifference to traffic laws or to the bicycle lanes created for them, just naturally makes people angry. As has been widely observed, people are already plenty angry, and new occasions for road rage are hardly what we need.

If the Council wishes to encourage the use of bicycles, I suggest that it remove Ms. Krager and her fanatic cohorts from power, and employ some traffic engineers who realize that the effort to change people's driving behavior requires explanation, persuasion and tact, not bureaucratic tyranny in the name of unidentified and possibly non-existent constituencies.

— Malcolm McCollum

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