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Cecil Whig - - OPINION -

To the Mary­land Trans­porta­tion Au­thor­ity’s plan to al­low bi­cy­clists onto the Hatem Bridge start­ing July 1. The more we find out about the state’s pro­posal, the more we sim­ply can­not be­lieve that it is mov­ing for­ward. Bi­cy­clists won’t have the safety of an ad­di­tional lane to ride in, but will be forced to ride along with traf­fic, com­mer­cial trac­tor-trail­ers in­cluded, in the two-lane span that fea­tures rel­a­tively low jer­sey walls. So far, the state is not propos­ing any age limit for cross­ing and even if there were, it would be im­pos­si­ble to en­force. Bi­cy­clists who wish to pass at night­time will be pro­hib­ited, but the only safety mea­sure to pre­vent them from do­ing so would be an MDTA of­fi­cial mon­i­tor­ing the toll fa­cil­ity call­ing a Trans­porta­tion Au­thor­ity po­lice of­fi­cer to re­spond. We un­der­stand that bik­ing ad­vo­cates have long griped about the in­abil­ity to cross the Hatem, but where do we stop for the vo­cal mi­nor­ity? Will cy­clists soon be cross­ing the Bay Bridge as well?

To 2016. Se­ri­ously though, how many cul­tural and artis­tic icons must we lose in one year? The year has seen the loss of ac­tors Alan Rick­man, Garry Shan­dling and Doris Roberts; mu­si­cians David Bowie, Merle Hag­gard and Glenn Frey; and au­thors Harper Lee, Pat Con­roy and Jim Har­ri­son — in just the first four months. Then on Thurs­day, the news be­gan to spread of the loss of the icon­o­clast mu­si­cian Prince. As of press time, no cause had been re­ported for the 57-year-old’s death, but he was re­port­edly not in good health and had re­cently be­gun writ­ing his mem­oir. The Artist For­mally Known As Prince was fa­mous for his in­fec­tious mix of funk, rock, R&B and pop mu­sic, cul­mi­nat­ing in hits like “When Doves Cry” and “Pur­ple Rain.” His an­drog­y­nous show­man­ship harked back to Bowie’s Ziggy Star­dust days, and his guitar play­ing could ri­val Jimi Hen­drix. We can only hope that the year has fewer such losses in its midst af­ter los­ing so many al­ready.

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