letter to city re. cycling

Discussion in 'rec.bicycles.soc archive' started by Fritz M, Mar 31, 2003.

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  1. Fritz M

    Fritz M Guest

    I'm composing a letter regarding an "incident" this morning with a city worker. I'm interested in
    comments and suggested improvements.

    RFM

    * * * * *

    Longmont Utility Workers Need to Learn How to Drive

    This morning at 8:15 A.M. I was commuting south on Sherman Street. As I approached the Kansas Avenue
    intersection, a Longmont city truck (small pickup truck, Colorado plates 376BHE, city seal and the
    letters "LPWC" or something similar on the door, no vehicle ID on the back that I could identify)
    northbound on Sherman accelerated and whipped left across in front of me onto Kansas. If I didn't
    immediately apply my brakes I would have met the front end of his truck with probable damage
    resulting. The driver was a forty-ish white or hispanic male with black, unkept hair. I was close
    enough to his windshield to count the zit scars on his face.

    I ask that you remind your workers of the Colorado traffic code and relevant traffic safety issues.
    Among them are requirements to signal turns, observe the speed limit (your worker seemed to be going
    at least 45 in the 30 mph zone on Kansas Ave), and TURN ONLY WHEN IT'S SAFE.

    With the warming weather, now is a good time to remind city workers on techniques to avoid
    motorist-cyclist collisions. Other than the stupidly illegal manuevers your worker did this morning
    (lack of signalling, speeding, aggressive driving), he may have just been unaware that cyclists on
    the road are capable of going more than five miles per hour. On flat stretches of road I and many
    other cyclists are capable of keeping up with traffic. I was going better than 20 mph on Sherman
    this morning before I hit my brakes to avoid hitting the front of the city truck. I was riding in
    the traffic lane and was visible to the driver of the city truck.

    I ride defensively and watch for boneheaded maneuvers in order to avoid accidents, but your worker's
    driving was worse than I usually encounter. While I'm not particularly interested in any personal
    reprimand against this particular city worker, I would like to know what action the city of Longmont
    will take to ensure that public servants won't kill me, other cyclists, other motorists, or chilren
    playing on residential streets. I really appreciate the city's commitment to outdoor recreation and
    I'm confident the right action will taken.

    Useful information on cycling and traffic can be found at this website. It's oriented toward
    cyclists and what they should do to stay alive on the road, but there's plenty of information that's
    helpful for motorists. Most interesting may be the section which illustrates the most common
    motorist-cyclist collisions, both motorist-caused and cyclist-caused.

    http://www.kenkifer.com/bikepages/traffic/

    Regards,

    .......
     
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  2. Bob Bayn

    Bob Bayn Guest

    Take the high road and avoid subjective descriptions of your assailant:

    In article <[email protected]>, [email protected] (Fritz M) writes:
    > I'm composing a letter regarding an "incident" this morning with a city worker. I'm interested in
    > comments and suggested improvements.
    >
    > RFM
    >
    > * * * * *
    >
    > Longmont Utility Workers Need to Learn How to Drive

    I'd replace "learn how to drive" with "take more care when driving" ...
    > resulting. The driver was a forty-ish white or hispanic male with black, unkept hair. I was close
    > enough to his windshield to count the zit scars on his face.

    umkept? how about "tousled" don't claim to count zit scars -who knows it might have been chickenpox.
    skip that colorful descriptor of how close you were. ...
    > techniques to avoid motorist-cyclist collisions. Other than the stupidly illegal manuevers your
    > worker did this morning (lack of signalling, speeding, aggressive driving), he may have just been

    illegal is bad enough, skip the "stupidly" part.

    ...
    > I ride defensively and watch for boneheaded maneuvers in order to

    replace "boneheaded" with careless

    The rest of it's great. clear, correct and to the point.
     
  3. "Bob Bayn, Network & Computing Services" wrote:
    >
    > Take the high road and avoid subjective descriptions of your assailant:

    I agree with Bob. You need to be perceived as adult, rational, responsible. While it's unjustified,
    it's still a fact that reactionary language might lead them to believe you're a hothead, and that
    you're overreacting to something that was merely a minor annoyance.

    I see no problem, however, with _somehow_ describing how very close it was. Just do it in a
    reasonable manner.

    Overall, good letter.

    --
    Frank Krygowski [email protected]
     
  4. Fritz M

    Fritz M Guest

    [email protected] (Bob Bayn, Network & Computing Services) wrote:

    > Take the high road and avoid subjective descriptions of your assailant:

    I cooled down quite a bit and reduced the letter to just the facts. I summarized and gave the
    details on a local cycling advocacy listserv and it turns out that both the city transportation
    planner and former mayor are both members of the group.

    Cool, huh?

    RFM
     
  5. Bob Bayn

    Bob Bayn Guest

    In article <[email protected]>, [email protected] (Fritz M) writes:
    > [email protected] (Bob Bayn, Network & Computing Services) wrote:
    >
    >> Take the high road and avoid subjective descriptions of your assailant:
    >
    >
    > I cooled down quite a bit and reduced the letter to just the facts. I summarized and gave the
    > details on a local cycling advocacy listserv and it turns out that both the city transportation
    > planner and former mayor are both members of the group.
    >
    > Cool, huh?

    Good work, and good luck.

    --
    Bob Bayn Welcome to Cache Valley; o AUS/N&CS Please set your chronometer \__^\=* Utah State Univ
    back 20 years and 10 minutes. (O)""""o
     
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