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What you said about what we said last week

“Pass the popcorn… This thread’s gonna be fun,” wrote Extra butter, please, correctly anticipating the nature of reader response to Will Sommer’s District Line column. “Riding a bike on the sidewalk makes sense. Why the hate?” was the basic premise. It wasn’t, as far as we could tell, an unhinged rant against reasonable sidewalk use or biking etiquette. It barely promoted any sectarian strife. Sure, “to sidewalk or not to sidewalk” was the question, but neither side was put on blast. And yet! Oh, the hate. The torrents of Biblical, blood-red, blinding hate spewed upon Sommer and all those who would dare suggest using a bicycle on the sidewalk.

Some readers swallowed their vitriol and offered some constructive commentary: “Solution: remove a lane from M Street to expand the sidewalk and add bike lanes,” suggested one anonymous commenter. Most let the vitriol spew, however. Perennial staff favorite and comments-section darling noodlez, practically an artist with the caps lock key, neatly summarized the stance of Sommer’s opposition: “HOW ABOUT GETTING YOUR ASS IN THE STREET AND RIDE LAWFULLY WITH THE TRAFFIC. SIDEWALKS ARE NOT BIKE EXPRESS LANES!” Translation: kindly cycle in the road, not the sidewalk, please and thank you. carlos the dwarf pointed out that drivers are likely to mow down bikers in the street. noodlez helpfully shouted a clarification of the rules. “IF YOU ARE RIDING LEGALLY IN STREET WITH AND WITH OUT DESIGNATED LANES THEN ITS INCUMBENT ON DRIVER TO GIVE YOU RIGHT OF WAY. IM ESPECIALLY POINTING AT THOSE VA DRIVERS WHO MAKES ME WANNA DEMO DERBY THEIR ASSES.” Inside voices, please.

We actually have a hard time believing suspicious_package has ever been on a District sidewalk, though. “How many times have you been ruun down on the sidewalk exactly? I walk on the sidewalks a lot and I’ve never had it happen to me. Nor do I know anyone who’s had it happen to them.” Is that because you don’t get out much or because cyclists have been shamed off the sidewalk and, uh, aren’t there to run you over? No one’s happy here, but we can look to Europe, contended big boy. “In the countries where they have the greatest numbers of cyclists and least accidents- countries such as Holland, Germany and Denmark, most of the bicycle tracks are on sidewalks or bumped out portions of the road- almost NEVER in the road or outside of parked cars as we do here. Basically as a society we have done ZERO to encourage cyclists- except for those foolhardy Lance Armstrong guys in lycra and spandex who are all into racing or looking sleek. These guys are often aggressive and seldom go slow or use warning signals for pedestrians. We need to change our entire outlook towards cycling in this country and make it more inclusive and less athletic oriented.” Gavel, gavel: City Paper endorses any policy that reduces the prevalence of spandex worn in public.