Tuesday, February 21, 2012

(I've seen) Safer Cycling Scenarios

This past weekend I was out in my car running some errands in Anderson. I was on busy Hwy 76 running some errands in the midst of Saturday-afternoon-mall/suburban traffic, and I noticed a lone bicyclists making his way.

I'm not a fan of driving in stop and go traffic when I'm driving, especially when it's the kind where drivers are peeling in and out of large-lot, big-box stores. I like the sales that some of these business provide just as much as anyone else, but driving along billboard-distracting, driveway-every-20-feet roadways can feel like wading into unsafe waters.

While riding along in the 45+ mph traffic, at one point, I noticed that bicyclist riding in the far right lane (not on the sidewalk), attempting to "share the road" with vehicular traffic. Bicyclists have the right to the road just as much as any car, truck or SUV, however, in conditions such as these, riding a bike is not advisable. (Even though I have been known to ride in some conditions that only craz- *er* skilled riders would venture, this scenario seemed to be crossing that line.)

So, I started thinking about the decision of the bicycle rider to ride here. And then I became frustrated by the design of the suburban landscape that really limits transportation choices and mobility. And then I thought about the recent ranking of South Carolina being 49th in the nation in bicycle safety. And then I thought about this blog, and how it aims to be a voice to advocate for making better choices to improve bicycle facilities. And how this situation is exactly what this blog tries to reach out to address and prevent. With the high number of recent crashes (in this very community), I can holy hope that this bicyclist made to his destination and home in one piece.

Just consider a few of these things:
1.  Be careful where you ride. Even though you may be lawfully in the right, think twice about your decisions.
2.  Advocate for better bicycle facilities - like bike lanes, shared roadways and good urban design - that allows for mobility choices and safer options.

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