Jan Marx, the mayor of SLO, shouts that Cal Poly partying is an “affront” to the city! Really? As a senior in my 70s, I’ll tell you what an affront is: It’s all the bike riders that have infiltrated most of the downtown area. Ergo, the real problem is not Cal Poly, it’s the “stupid is as stupid does” brainless city of SLO, which has opened the floodgates to not only accidents, but deaths as well. And vehicle drivers will eventually get the blame. We are talking about the resurgence of bike riders on the streets of this city, folks. And in my 29 years living downtown, I’ve never seen anything like it. No matter the street name—from Foothill to Tank Farm and every street in between—bike riders have taken charge with the mantra: “We don’t give a damn.” They don’t stop at lights or street signs or arrows pointing in either direction. And if a vehicle driver honks their horn, it’s generally ignored or they get a quick “middle finger” pointed in their direction. Actually, this flood of bicycle riders has become worse than ants at a lakeside picnic. Yet the city keeps marking more streets as “bicycle free.” The county is just as culpable, as well.
So instead of us vehicle drivers waving a “white flag” in surrender, it’s time for the city to crack down on these idiots and subject them to the same strict driving policies that vehicles must adhere to. Rear red flashing tail lights is a good start (especially at night), plus make it a bicycle law that every rider in control wear a rearview mirror attached to their helmet so they can see what’s behind them at all times. Also, issue a ticket (you know the kind vehicle drivers get when they violate the law) when bikers are riding with friends, two and three across, making the vehicle driver swerve out over the single or double lane. Talk about dangerous.
That said, let me end this call to action by directing most of this comment at the young family riders I frequently see: mom, dad, and two siblings both under the age of 6, who think it’s “cute” to be riding down Broad Street at lunchtime, across Higuera, then over to Peach (right by my home) then pedal (not walk the bikes) out onto Chorro with cars going 45 mph, on up to Foothill. The Chorro sign that says 25 mph is a joke. If you drive 45 mph, the driver behind starts honking their horns in a rush to reach Palm Street as quick as possible. Yet, Chorro still offers a bike lane to and from Foothill, and guess where it continues? Yep, right though downtown where cars are parked on both sides of the street—leaving no room for anybody. That’s a real nice planning strategy by the “stupid is as stupid does” SLO city planners.
-- H. L. Mounger - San Luis Obispo