As the weather continues to journey from spring into summer, bicycling becomes popular as both a form of recreation and a mode of transportation. Bicycling can promote the health of both the individual, who benefits from the exercise, and the community at large, which benefits from the reduction in pollution caused by other transportation methods. Our Sacramento accident attorney urges both cyclists and drivers to always focus on safety. These efforts ensure that an enjoyable ride does not become a tragedy.
Sacramento bicycle riders are participating in an annual effort to make our region bicycle-friendly. Due to an increase in participation, the annual Million Mile May event has grown to become Two Million Mile May. Cyclists are registering at the event website and pledging the number of miles they expect to ride in May. As of this weekend, 5,200 Sacramento cyclists have pledged over a million miles. In 2011, participants logged 1.4 million miles in an effort to help remind drivers of the need to share the road and to advocate for steps to make our region safe and accessible for riders.
At the state level, the California Legislature is considering a law that would require drivers to leave a three foot safety cushion when passing a bicycle. The bill failed to pass last year but there is a notable difference in the details of this year’s version of the proposal. Last year, the bill would have required drivers to slow to a speed of 15 miles per hour when there wasn’t room to allow the three foot space. This provision raised safety concerns and the current bill instead requires the driver slow to a reasonable speed for the circumstances.
Other efforts are occurring at a local level to make bicycling both safe and convenient. Davis, a city known for its being popular with cyclists, has recently converted four automobile parking spaces into bicycle parking. Each space can accommodate eight bikes and the change helps avoid having bicycles clutter the sidewalks making it easier for pedestrians to enjoy the downtown area, allows restaurants to add sidewalk dining, and helps increase visibility of businesses to those driving through the area. The town’s mayor says he has received calls requesting the effort be expanded to convert additional spaces to bike parking.
Traffic engineers are also working to improve safety in an area that has been the site of multiple Sacramento bicycle accidents in recent years, including two fatalities. On May 17, the Sacramento Area Bicycle Advocates group will present proposed redesigns for the H and J Street intersections with Carlson Drive that lie between Sacramento State and River Park. The meeting will be held at the area Presbyterian church. A consultant has also been hired by the city to look at improving safety at the intersections.
This summer will also see the start of a bikeway project in downtown Sacramento. The city will be adding bike lanes to parts of J, I, G and H streets as well as Fifth, Ninth, Tenth, and Capitol Mall. Portions of the roadways will remain at three car lanes while other sections will lose a car lane to accommodate the new bike lanes.
We applaud the efforts to make our region safe and welcoming for cyclists. Greg Brod is proud to serve as a lawyer for bicycle accidents in Sacramento and throughout Northern California. A consultation is always free and most injury cases are handled on a contingency basis so there is no charge unless you obtain compensation for your injury.