Nov. 6 — To the Editor:

I’m writing after reflecting on articles in the Portsmouth Herald from Monday, Nov. 5 and Tuesday, Nov. 6. In “Safe Riding” from the 5th, Karen Dandurant reports on Mayor Blalock’s comments to the crowded Pedalpalooza event on Sunday, Nov. 4th when he said that two-thirds of the comments he’s received about the Middle Street bike lane have been positive. In Jeff McMenemy’s article published the next day, the title alone “Middle Street bicycle lane gets bad reviews” would indicate a curious mismatch in Herald reporting. I think we can just agree that the comment period is still open, and all the votes aren’t in.

After sorting through Charlie Griffin’s repeat call for bicycle registration and his bike lane surveillance reports offered in the Nov. 6 article, I landed on two salient passages. First, consider Griffin’s point that with the Middle Street lane Portsmouth “put bicyclists on equal footing with motorists.” Well done Portsmouth! NH RSA 265:143 states that “Bicyclists have the same rights and duties as drivers of motor vehicles.” Secondly, Councilor Becksted’s later remark that “people are impatient” says volumes on this issue.

Slow down a little. Enjoy the ride whether in your car or on your bike. Charlie Griffin needs to give the path a little time before counting High School student commuters. The lane has only been open for a couple of months and despite the hundreds of Pedalpalooza riders last Sunday, it is November! Portsmouth Middle School won this year’s Bicycle Commuter Challenge in the major participant category with 2,416 trips recorded. Those kids are seasoned bike commuters now, and will be headed for the High School in short order. People in cars will get used to some new painted lines and Portsmouth will benefit from leading the way in multi-modal transportation planning over due time.

Andrew Richmond