Cyclists are here, so make room for them
Efforts in the resort area to convince people to leave their cars at home and cycle or walk to the beach seem to have been successful – more successful than transportation or city officials appear to have prepared for.
Literally hundreds of cyclists were out over the weekend, from organized packs riding the back roads to families riding on Route 1, the parents, with beach chairs and backpacks, slowly inching along behind their young children.
Many people who live in the Cape Region avoid cycling on Route 1 at any time of year, but visitors are unaware of or undaunted by the danger of sharing the bike lane with buses and turning traffic.
Making matters worse, many cyclists ride with no helmets and no lights or reflectors – all at a time when pedestrian and cycling deaths have spiked in the Cape Region.
A task force and a working group will meet to search for ways to improve highway safety, and the Cape Gazette has repeatedly called for more crosswalks and for installing markers or a barrier to clearly separate cyclists and pedestrians from vehicular traffic. Better lighting and lower speeds would also significantly improve safety on Route 1.
Still, no official upgrades are on the way in the next few months. That means the only way to avoid more deaths in the Cape Region is for all to do their part. We are all anxious to get off the highway and onto the beach, but it’s worth a few extra moments to slow down and stop for pedestrians and cyclists – even if they are creating hazards by crossing or riding improperly.
Cyclists and pedestrians must return the favor by learning and obeying the rules of the road.
It’s one thing for the League of American Bicyclists to name Delaware to the fifth spot on the list of most bike-friendly states. To stay on that list, not only state government but drivers, cyclists and pedestrians alike must be committed to sharing the roadway and making room for everyone.