Traverse City Record-Eagle

Our Views

July 14, 2013

Editorial: Can bicyclist's death spur change?

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There’s a terroristic element to her death, and as such communities often pull together when confronted by inexplicable violence.

Police are flooded with tips, a reward pot grows daily, bicyclists are more alert and cautious, and Traverse City area residents overall express sadness about the death of a young woman most never met.

The universal hope is that police catch the killer and the criminal justice system puts an end to that threat.

But more is needed, and Boyce’s death should spur intelligent discussion and solutions to real problems that exist in a region that’s bursting at the seams with bicyclists but doesn’t always know what to do with all of them.

An area replete with wonderful bike trails in some places falls woefully short of dedicated bike lanes or other features that can help ensure bike safety.

And to be sure, it’s incumbent upon bicyclists to learn and strictly practice rules of the road when sharing space with motor vehicles.

Heavy traffic and one-way streets frequently prompt bicyclists to behave dangerously or with little regard to motorists, and collectively they must act lawfully if they’re to maintain the momentum necessary to add and enhance safe riding resources.

Kelly Ann Boyce’s death wasn’t about bike safety, but it’s quite possible it reflects at least one warped, hateful mind’s approach to bicyclists.

Regardless, there’s reason to hope the death of a woman described by friends as “a gem,” “a bright spirit” and someone “possessed by life” can spark a change in local attitudes, both toward bicyclists and among them.

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