Editor, the Times:
There is a lot of mention about the healthy qualities of bike riding but I am concerned that no one has mentioned a certain negative point on the subject.
In this country, where much transportation is by car, riding your bicycle alongside vehicle traffic is not a healthy thing to do, particularly since the exertion causes you to take deep breaths.
I recall seeing a report of tests done on the air quality along highway routes, which showed that even for several feet beyond outer road edges, the air quality was quite toxic from the exhausts of cars and trucks.
Eventually the toxicity thins out when absorbed by the surrounding air, but if you are biking alongside vehicle traffic on any roadway or highway, you are inhaling large toxic doses of exhaust fumes with every breath you take.
No doubt some transportation systems need improving but it would seem that spending more resources for creating biking lanes alongside traffic should be given more thought.
Cyclists who feel they are making healthy financial savings today might find it will not begin to compensate for health problems later on.
The public should have more information on this topic under present-day conditions.
Lila Rauh Mission