Monday, June 20, 2011

Road Respect for Cyclists

Wanted to pass along this article about road respect for cyclists since it's so important to all of us at IPTC.  We want all cyclists to feel safe on Utah's roads!  
Cyclists tour Utah promoting ‘road respect’
Margaret Distler | The Salt Lake Tribune Mayor Ralph Becker thanks cyclists for participating in the statewide Road Respect Tour bike ride at the press event in Sugar House Park on the afternoon of Monday, June 13, 2011. 25 cyclists are participating in the ride visiting communities from Logan to Hurricane from June 13 to 18, 2011.
Two dozen bicyclists zipped down a hill in Sugar House Park — and accidentally passed their turnoff for a news conference where they were to call for respecting traffic rules to protect cyclists. So not to go against traffic on the one-way road there, they rode a mile around the park and returned.
“And some of them had already ridden 92 miles from Logan, but decided to turn it into a victory lap,” said Salt Lake City Mayor Ralph Becker, who rode with them through his city.
“We are here to talk about respecting laws, so it wouldn’t be good to go the wrong way on a one-way street — especially when we knew you [news reporters] were here watching,” said Carlos Braceras, Utah Department of Transportation deputy director, who also biked with the group. So, Braceras added, it became an accidental demonstration of how heeding the law may take a little extra time and effort but keeps everyone safe in the end.
Cyclists from UDOT, the Utah Department of Public Safety, law enforcement agencies, health groups and others are biking from Logan to Hurricane in a weeklong Road Respect Tour. They finished their first day at Sugar House Park with a rally and news conference.
“On average, six cyclists are killed on our roadways per year,” Braceras said. “There are more than 850 accidents a year that involve cyclists. That’s an incredible amount.”
He noted the tour passed by the spot on 700 East where Brynn Barton, 24, was killed while biking in a hit-and-run accident last week.
He said cyclists have often complained that drivers need to better follow traffic rules, but drivers often say the same about cyclists.
“It’s no longer about us or them,” Braceras said. “It needs to be about us.”
Becker said that is more important as more people begin to bike. “So many more people would cycle if they could feel safe on the roads.”
Utah Highway Patrol Lt. Mike Loveland, who is riding with the group, said he has seen too many auto-bicycle accidents. “We need to understand we share the roads. If we mellow out a bit and get along, it’ll all work out just fine.”
Braceras added, “It’s the same roads, same rules and same laws for both motorists and cyclists in Utah.” He urged drivers to slow down, pay attention around cyclists and give them at least three feet when passing them. He urged cyclists to obey all traffic signs and signals, to ride single file when traffic is present and to always wear a helmet.
More on the Web
O A list of other rallies this week is available online at

© 2011 The Salt Lake Tribune

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