Letters to the Editor

Letter: Laws aren't enough to protect cyclists

“But somebody’s gonna get killed,” my friend from the YMCA proclaimed three times during our usual chat in the YMCA parking lot. Noting I was riding my bike, he began by saying, “all the folks at city hall must ride bikes.” This would explain why, in his view, the city is overly accommodating to bicyclists. I offered that cities having good bike facilities were most likely to thrive. He answered, “But somebody’s gonna get killed.”

When asked to explain, he told of an experience when driving his pickup on a two-lane blacktop. He encountered a bicyclist in his lane. There was no shoulder. He complained of having to slow dramatically. I explained my understanding that, in Iowa, a bike must be treated as a vehicle having a right to the lane. “But somebody’s gonna get killed,” he protested.

He then posed a dangerous scenario of rounding a blind corner at speed and meeting a bicyclist in his lane with a car approaching in the other lane. I gave him my understanding of Iowa law requiring him to control or stop his vehicle within the “clear assured distance ahead.” “But somebody’s gonna get killed” was his reply.

The very next morning on July 19, Daniel A. Lehn was tragically struck from behind and killed by a pickup. There was no shoulder on the two lane highway. How should I respond to my friend when I expect he will say he told me so?

Steve Sovern

Cedar Rapids


MORE Letters to the Editor ARTICLES TO READ NEXT ...

Fran McCaffery, University of Iowa men's basketball coach, is the second highest paid Iowa state employee at nearly $1.8 million annually. The cost to send a student to the University of Iowa for an in-state resident is approxima ...

I'm proud that Iowa is the second biggest producer of wind energy in the country. But burning fossil fuels for electricity isn't the only threat to climate change from Iowa. Agriculture is often overlooked in the climate change de ...

Give us feedback

Have you found an error or omission in our reporting? Tell us here.

Do you have a story idea we should look into? Tell us here.