Be safe

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Bicycling is a wonderful form of exercise, and with the recent fall-like temperatures it's no wonder more individuals are taking to the trails and streets for a ride. Bicycling is also a mode of transportation that more and more people across the country are considering for health, environmental and economic reasons.

While most bicyclists and motorists are courteous and respectful of each other, some have taken to criticism.

It is understandable that some motorists become frustrated for having to slow down when bicyclists are in front of them, but it's no excuse for dangerous or rude driving. Bicyclists have the same rights to local streets as motorists do. On the flip side, bicyclists, though not operating a motor vehicle, must abide by the same rules of the road. Using proper hand signals and obeying all traffic lights is not a suggestion, it's the law.

To further assist in the traffic concerns between motor vehicles and bicycles, Cape Girardeau has adopted a plan, made possible thanks to a $250,000 grant from the Missouri Foundation for Health, to add 16 miles of bike lanes along several streets in Cape Girardeau. According to Harry Rediger, mayor of Cape Girardeau, "significant work" will take place in October to move the project forward, and the city expects the total project to take about two weeks. The addition of bike lanes is a win-win proposition for bicyclists, motorists, business owners and other land owners since no existing on-street parking areas will be eliminated thanks to the use of sharrows.

The bottom line is everyone, regardless of their method of transportation, should be careful as they travel. Though we all have some place to be, reckless behavior on the roadways, potentially resulting in an accident or worse, is not acceptable. Motorists, in particular, should be especially careful around bicyclists, because the damage they cause could be fatal.

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