Spandex Isn’t the Problem 

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D.P. Sorensen criticized some bicyclists in a recent column [“Road Rage,” Dec. 5, City Weekly], and took exception to bicyclists wearing spandex and not coming to a full stop at stop signs.

Many bicyclists look great in spandex. Why criticize what other people choose to wear when it is clean, reasonable and functional? We should encourage freedom for people to wear what they want, within reason. Utah already has too many people telling us how to act.

I also take exception to requiring bicyclists to come to a complete stop at stop signs. The law should be changed to allow bicyclists to treat stop signs like yield signs. Bicyclists are completely different from cars—they’re more maneuverable, go slower than cars, don’t pose the same danger to others, and have much better visibility than a car driver. The loss of momentum required to come to a complete stop is not necessary when a bicyclist can easily see if there is traffic at a stop sign and come to a stop, if necessary, to yield to traffic. This is especially true at four-way stop signs.

Using a bicycle instead of a car provides many benefits to the individual and society. The individual becomes healthier, communes with society and saves money. Society benefits from less traffic congestion, lower levels of pollution, less noise and reduced danger.

The use of bicycles instead of cars should always be encouraged—even if the rider chooses to wear spandex. Since I feel I must practice what I preach, I gave up my Volvo Cross Country three years ago and have relied on my bike, walking, UTA and car sharing to get around. I’m a professional civil engineer and apartment-building owner, and this combination of transportation choices have met my needs. I chose to give up ownership of a motorized vehicle because I wanted to reduce noise and pollution, and contribute to a more livable city.

Glenn Sorensen
Salt Lake City

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