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LETTER: Don't ban ebikes because of a few bad riders

Should we ban all cars from the city streets after a car crash, asks letter writer who believes courtesy is critical on all trails
BikeSports 2 (2)

OrilliaMatters welcomes letters to the editor at dave@orilliamatters.com. Please include your daytime phone number and address (for verification of authorship, not publication). This letter is in response to a letter published on Sunday, regarding electric bikes on Orillia's trails.
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I live and ride in Mississauga, Ontario and there are hundreds of bike trails that I ride. I also ride the streets where it is legal (posted below 60 km/h).

My rule on a bike trail is, "I am a pedestrian." I pass someone at just above walking speed unless they are in the grass or sitting on a bench. Then, I'm travelling slower than a pedal-powered only bike.

If there is anyone with a dog on a leash (on a bike trail or even on a street), I go slowly because I don't know if the dog will lunge at me. The only times that I go 32 kph is on a city street to keep up with the traffic or if the street is empty.

Many bike trails (especially near Pearson Airport) have long, straight runs with no people walking. There, I will get my ebike up to 32 kph. But if I see someone, I'm a pedestrian again. I pass at 7 kph or slower because that is (was) as fast as I run.

Just as a regular bicyclist can crash into a pedestrian on a bike trail, so, too, can an ebike rider.

Recently, a driver ran a red light in California (which made international news because of the speed involved) and killed several people. Should we ban all cars from the city streets?

Hit-and-runs are, fortunately, very rare. Unfortunately, there usually isn't much you can do about them. However, if a biker (or anyone) is caught, throw the book at them and put them in prison if there is any injuries (such as in your story). But don't ban the automobile just because some person decides to crash into people.

Randall MacDonald
Mississauga

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