Thank you for your recent editorial highlighting the dangers to pedestrians and bikers on byways designed for car travel (“Build roadways that are safe for everyone,” Jan. 11). I have had two close calls in Portland, once while walking and once on my bike; both cases involved a driver being deliberately aggressive.

I do wonder why, in your reporting on the recent fatality in South Portland, involving a woman crossing a street, that you included the fact the she crossed where there was no crosswalk. Whether intended or not, the statement subtlety implies some fault on her part. There aren’t crosswalks everywhere, so she may have had no choice.

While it’s important for those on foot and on bike to follow the rules of the road and be as visible as possible, vehicle drivers need to respect the rights of others to use the roads. Drivers are the ones behind the wheel of a heavy piece of machinery that can kill.

We can all be part of the solution by modeling safe driving behaviors: Do the speed limit. Stop running red lights. Keep watch for bikes and pedestrians, who have just as much right to use the roadways as drivers of cars.

Mary Ann Larson

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