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Handley: Scottsdale is indeed biker friendly


I enjoyed reading (“Scottsdale named a bicycle friendly community”) in the Feb. 14 paper and, well, this is anything but a surprise to me!

I ride my bicycle just about every day, as it's my way to commute to and from work, and my work commute is about two and a half miles each way. I also try to get at least one 10 or so mile bike ride in every weekend, too, so I average about 35 miles per week. I do the bulk of my bike riding in the southern part of Scottsdale, too. The joke part of this is: I get to smile every time I pass a gas station.

More seriously, the large number of bike lanes, bike paths and bike trails started happening a long time ago here, as one of Scottsdale's most wonderful mayors, William Jenkins, was an avid bicyclist and did everything he could back in the 1960s and 1970s to make Scottsdale as bike friendly and safe as he could. I remember it being very easy to commute to and from Paiute Elementary School and Scottsdale High School back then. From then on, as Scottsdale has grown in so many ways, it has stayed overall very bike friendly and safe. The current total of 471 miles of bike lanes, bike paths and bike trails will probably go up a bit more over time, which will be nice, too, for all of us avid bicyclists.

And one thing I see just about every day is the overwhelming majority of courteous drivers out on the streets, which make the rides even better. There are things I do to try to make the experiences for the drivers and other bicyclists better, too. I wear my helmet, I wear a flagger's vest, I use my head light and tail light when it's not light out, I have a mirror on my bike to see what's happening behind me, and I use my hand signals. All of this makes my rides infinitely better and safer, and hopefully infinitely better and safer for all of the drivers, too.

I can understand some of the unhappiness of drivers where they have lost a lane or two for making bike lanes, but it helps make things safer for everyone. Finally, it's up to all of us to do all that we can to keep this at least a gold-rated city, by keeping all of the bike friendly parts, and for all of us to be as courteous and careful as we can. 

Thank you, City of Scottsdale, for all you have done over the last few decades!

Reader reactions, pro or con, are welcomed at AzOpinions@iniusa.org.