Bicycles Must Move Off Road

December 11, 2007
By Chad Hamman, Andover, KS

During early morning hours, many people enjoy jogging, walking, or riding their bike for exercise. While joggers and walkers use the sidewalk, bicyclists are forced to use the street. Often times it slows down traffic or causes traffic to swerve around the bicyclist. However, sometimes drivers do not pay attention and hit the bicyclist with their car. By creating safe routes for bikes to take, it should decrease the number of bicyclist we have to worry about on the road.

Obviously for the time being bicyclists have no choice but to ride on the road. Lately, the city of Wichita has spent a lot of smart money by repaving Wichita roads. However, I often think that the city is forgetting about other forms of transportation besides automobiles. In neighborhoods, it is usually not a big deal if some kids are riding their bike on the street. This is because drivers are on the lookout for kids playing--- especially during the afternoon hours--- and they are driving at low speeds, usually no higher than twenty miles per hour. But on a busy city street, it is often hard to avoid bicyclists who seem to appear out of nowhere.

With bicycles off the road, it may also decrease the amount of car accidents in general. If a car were to come up on an unexpected bicyclist and had to swerve all of a sudden they may hit another car. This is especially dangerous on two-lane streets, because it increases the possibility of head-on collisions. Head-on collisions are extremely rare, but had the highest death percentage according to In most cases of highway head-ons, the driver and most passengers were killed instantly, and in most non-highway crashes, the driver and front passenger may have died or survived with critical injuries, while other passengers may make it out with only a few bumps and bruises.

Finally, we just don’t have room for bicycles on our streets. According to national law, we must share the road with motorcycles and treat them just like we would treat a car. The law says nothing about bicycles, so we should not have to share the road. Build a bicycle path, a wider sidewalk, just do something to get bicycles off the road. It will do everyone a big favor.

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