Fix Safety First

Whenever undertaking a project like making biking appealing so all can enjoy and participate one must first make that activity SAFE.  Otherwise all but the diehard bicycle enthusiast will take up the challenge.  The goal is to get everyone cycling much if not most of the time because of all the reasons listed under Benefits.

So our streets must be made SAFE from vehicular traffic.  This can be done in two ways which also can be combined: 1) Physical barriers separating cars from bicycles; 2) Putting distance separation between cars and bicycles with an adequate buffer zone.  This will vastly improve the safety of cyclists of all ages.  Special design considerations must be worked out at intersections and signal lights.  There are many solutions being used and illustrated in the Video Clips.  In the few cases where street are too narrow for a bike lane large chevrons may be painted on the streets indicating that bikes have the right of way and cars must follow behind until there is a safe place for them to pass.

Closing off select streets to car traffic is another idea for making cycling safe.  These streets could be dedicated to shopping, eating, and relaxing away from traffic.  This will make is very convenient for residents to shop and dine in safety.

Safety must be the First consideration by the City in designing a sustainable city where auto traffic is of lower priority because car traffic IS the number One Cause of serious injuries and fatalities.  Eliminating cars will greatly improve health and safety in the city and replacing it with far safer bikes and walking and lead to a far more sustainable future for our city.  It can be done and in the long run must be done.

About Frank Geefay

Sustainable Bicycle and Smart Growth Advocate
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