The Chainlink

Here we go again, bike-haters in the Chicago Tribune's letters ...

Safer cyclists

Now that Mayor Rahm Emanuel has given bicyclists their own lane on a part of Kinzie Street ("Protected bike lanes get a 2nd green light; Chicago's first stretch on Kinzie to be followed by another on Jackson," News, July 26), maybe he should check into holding cyclists responsible for the rules of the road or, at least, taxing, licensing, displaying plates and being insured.

It's time for bikers using the thoroughfares to become responsible travelers like the drivers who look out for the cyclists as they blow through stop signs and red lights.

Bikers are somewhat essential to the economy, especially downtown, when delivering hard copies between companies. So here's the thing: Let the businesses that employ them pay for licenses and insurance. Maybe then they'll be safer on the road and drivers won't be standing on the brakes when one of them is in the middle of the intersection, balancing on the bike and waiting to dash down the road and into more traffic.

And let the recreational bikers pay their way as well.

Timothy D.O'Reilly, Chicago

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It's just bicycle-envy.  Motorists hate missing the party.
Taxes will be raised on everything soon.  Can't wait for the tax on breathing the air.   Free air will be thing of the past.
Of course taxes on property and people themselves will have to be raised, just how is all the money once paid in taxes from lost industry going to be made up for? That's a hidden cost of that Schwinn now being made in China rather than Chicago.
James, maybe taxing the air will be floated as a way to make up school funding since the property taxes are going into the mayor's TIF slush fund...

Speaking of haters, have you seen the Chicago Budget 2012 thing? Citizens can suggest ideas to fix the city's budget hole and vote and comment on the ideas of others. 

It is a great idea and some good ideas are being bandied about. But, as you might expect if you've ever read the comments on the Trib or the Sun Times any time bikes comes up, plenty of non-riders are using it to vent their anti-bike hate. For example, the 16th most popular idea right now (out of 1304) is this one on Enforcing the Traffic Laws on Bikers:


It is absurd. Please consider registering there an voting against this kind of crap and adding your voice of reason to the comments. There are several other ideas there that advocate licensing bikes. You might need to dig around a bit as there is no built in search.


(One can use Google of course,




(Sorry for jumping on your thread Alan. It seemed relevant sort of...)

Why can't we all get along??


We're planning on responding. We're also working to meet with the editorial boards of Trib and Sun-Times (Daily Herald, et al hopefully this fall).


Ethan Spotts (who had a wonderful bike commute this morning, just sharing), Active Trans

I think that taxing and licensing cyclists and requiring displayed plates and insurance is absurd, but I absolutely think that fining cyclists that disobey traffic laws is a good idea.

I also think that I lost a few brain cells reading the comments on that website- there are idiots on both sides of that debate...

Ever since I was stopped by 2 cute young ladies with day-glow green vests in WP to talk about all my scofflaw activities while riding I have been a little more conscious of the laws I leave open to interpretation.


People who live their lives in metal cocoons don't get what it means to be out there. They mock because they don't understand.

Mild Tangential Rant: I can't believe the Trib hyperlinks to the words Rahm Emanuel and Chicago. Because so many Tribune readers are unfamiliar with those terms?

Thunder Snow said:
It's just bicycle-envy.  Motorists hate missing the party.



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