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To the Editor:
I have been a resident of West Hartford since 2008 and am an avid cyclist. While I do own and drive a car, I commute to work and do many errands on bicycle year round. In nice weather I take much longer rides throughout the state. I have a very simple request for drivers in West Hartford: please stop parking in the bicycle lanes.
There is no one type of cyclist in West Hartford. However, particularly when traveling East-West, bike lanes are the only protection the town affords us. Please let the many of us who ride bikes have this one (albeit imperfect) protection.
In the past few months I have seen multiple cars parked in the Boulevard and Oakwood Avenue bike lanes. Usually they are adjacent to very visible “No Parking” signs. If you wouldn’t park in any other no parking zone, why do you park in these?
Most recently I encountered a group of people with a car parked on Boulevard. I asked if they realized they were in a bike lane. Getting no response from the person to whom I directed my question, I pointed to the Little League parking lot directly across the street which they could have very easily used. As I rode away, I heard one of them say, “It’s only temporary.”
“It was only temporary” would be a horrible response to the family of a human killed when, having to go around a vehicle in a bike lane, swerved into the travel lane and collided with an oncoming vehicle. This is something that could easily happen, but can be avoided with an easy solution: use designated parking areas for your cars and trucks. We all need to work together to prevent tragedies before they happen.