Install bike lanes along Central Avenue

The Alameda Sun received a copy of this letter.

Dear City Council:
I am 12 years old and I believe Central Avenue should have a bike lane the full length of the island. It is a main street connecting the east end of town to the west. And while there are people who travel by car, there are also many people who travel by bike. Having a safe, dedicated place to ride, I feel, should be a priority.

I took a bike safety class and went to bike safety camp. I follow the rules of the road. I ride in bike lanes when they are available. I use proper hand signals. I maintain a safe distance from parked cars. I stop at all stop signs and signals, and I am aware of my surroundings when I ride. I wear a reflective vest, and I have flashing lights on my bike. 

I have done my part in being a safe rider. Yet, when I ride with my three friends to school at The Academy of Alameda, on the other end of town, we don’t feel safe. I get disturbed when drivers flip us off and say mean things to us. They yell out the windows, telling us to ride on the sidewalk. Additionally, there are also drivers who are driving aggressively and fast next to me. 

There are also many distracted drivers, checking their phone, changing the radio station or drinking coffee. These drivers’ actions put my safety in jeopardy. It would make me feel safe if there were established bike lanes on Central Avenue.

I did speak at the November Transportation Committee Meeting. I voiced my opinion about the need for safe bike routes then. I, unfortunately, cannot attend the City Council meeting later this month, as I have a previously scheduled Boy Scout event. I would like for the City Council to take my letter and note my commitment to making Alameda a safe place for all bike riders.

Kyle Long