SPOKANE - An e-mail exchange between local bicyclists and Spokane City Councilman Bob Apple over a suggestion to put a bike path on 2nd Avenue has turned into a war of words between the cycling community and the councilman.
The original e-mail to Apple was sent on August 20 by an individual asking about the plausibility of a bike lane being installed on 2nd Avenue while it's under construction. Apple's response, by his own admission, was not exactly cordial.
?I tried to provide them with a wealth of information in an e-mail even though it wasn't as polite as perhaps they would have liked,? Apple confirmed.
In his response he wrote, ?[W]ell it sounds like someone had led you to believe it is free to make the changes but failed to express the realities." He went on to say ?I understand for those who hate cars it is not a problem."
"So if the property owners will not pay just who, pray tell, will in your mind be the proper source of the funds?" Apple asked in his message responding to the bike lane request.
Apple's reply quickly spread through the biking community.
?It spread like a fire on a windy day in Eastern Washington,? Tomas Lynch said, adding that the tone of Apple?s response ?was very condescending.?
?It is a group of fanatics, a few people in Spoakne who think they can dictate and control,? Apple says, adding he?s received more nasty e-mails from bicyclists in Spokane then he can count, so he decided to be rude right back
?It?s just a fair trade, exchange for what I'm receiving from the group,? he said.
In a letter dated August 23 Apple stated that, ?certainly bicyclists would never be rude and the fact that only four in the region have been hit in the last year is undoubtedly someone else?s fault ? I would rather ban bikes as they did in a Nevada city than allow this ignorance to continue to happen here.
?This doesn't make cyclists look bad, it makes Bob Apple look bad,? Tomas Lynch said.
Apple says he receives rude emails from bicyclists every day and he says he stands by his e-mails and his responses to people who he feels are rude to him.