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Riding streets 'like Russian roulette'

March 20, 2008 By: Peter Smith Category: Uncategorized

Lots of cities and towns are really trying to get on their feet with cycling:

After more than two hundred accidents and four deaths involving cyclists and motorists in the metro Indianapolis area last year, local cycling advocates are hoping education and respect will go a long way to a safer 2008.

Central Indiana Bicycle Association President Nancy Tibbett said Indiana has a long way to go before being thought of as a bicycle-friendly place, but recent events, such as the announced addition of bike lanes on parts of New York and Michigan streets in Downtown Indianapolis, are encouraging.

One rider from Carmel, Indiana - a suburb of Indianapolis - says that riding is so dangerous, he had to cut back:

Jonathan Juillerat, general manager of Nebo Ridge Bicycles in Carmel, argues Indianapolis should add more designated lanes for bicycles and the Bureau of Motor Vehicles should do a better job of educating motorists.

“It’s intimidating as a cyclist,” he said. “Riding city streets sometimes feels like Russian roulette, so I made a conscious decision not to ride as much because of that. Eventually, I feel like my number will be up because motorists aren’t paying attention.”

That’s the general manager of a bicycle shop speaking. If an experienced cyclist is worried about getting killed, why would we expect a novice to feel any differently?

If Google Maps were to provide bicycle directions, just as they now provide motor vehicle directions (and mass transit directions in many places, most recently New Jersey), drivers would become more aware of cyclists being on the roads. And, as we all know, it’s easy to miss something you’re not looking for.

The Indiana Bicycle Coalition, IUPUI, and the League of American Bicyclists are also mentioned in the article.

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