Letter to the Needham Times

In the past couple of weeks I have nearly been run off the road on South Street by a town DPW vehicle and, more recently, a mail truck. In response to the article about biking on South Street, I sent the following letter to the Needham Times:

As one who bikes solo on South Street several days a week in warm weather, I am acutely aware of the hazard. But what I urge motorists to consider is that when it comes to bike versus car, the cyclist is completely vulnerable. While some cyclists are no doubt discourteous, in my experience impatient drivers are the far greater danger. To save a few extra seconds they'll endanger the life of a cyclist or an oncoming motorist, often passing when they clearly cannot see what awaits around the corner. Too often I've been passed by a speeding car, only to find myself sitting alongside that same car at the next traffic light. Unless these people are surgeons racing to the hospital to save a life, what's the hurry? The greater the speed the lower the margin for error. Rigorous enforcement of a lower speed limit on South Street is probably the best solution and the sooner the better because someone is going to get killed out there and that someone isn't an anonymous cyclist -- he or she may be your neighbor, someone's Mom or Dad, daughter or son.