New Hanover County bike routes to help with road safety
Now that warm weather is here, you will be seeing more and more cyclists filling the streets and highways of the Port City. WWAY’s John Rendleman has a profile of bike routes in New Hanover County along with a few safety tips for cyclists and drivers.
With helmets on their head, cyclists have a variety of wants and needs in New Hanover County. “What New Hanover County needs to do is every time they pave a road, if they would just build a bike lane on it while they build it,” said cyclist Eileen McConville. “When they pave a road and don’t build a bike lane we’re just forced out into the street.”
Jill Kaiser, also a cyclist, said, “It would be nice to have bike lanes because it’s scary biking out there with a kid, the cars get so close. It would be great if they were designated and connected, then you could go on a really long ride.”
Andrea Talley works for the city of Wilmington. She has the scoop on the new trail. “The Cross City Trail is ten miles long. It’ll be a multi-use off road path. It goes from the southern end of town to the northern end to Wrightsville Beach.”
A portion of the trail, along Eastwood Road, is complete. Phase one of the construction is slated to begin this summer, with the final phase set to start in 2010.
Designated bike paths will not eliminate bikes on the street though; road sharing is something we all just have to get to get used to. “Riding in traffic is always an issue and bikes and cars quite naturally don’t get along,” said Fred Jackson. “But you know roads don’t cause accidents, drivers cause accidents. What cyclists really need is we need drivers who are paying attention to driving, not on the cell phone or drinking coffee while driving.”
Clearly it is a two way street. Bicyclists have just as much responsibility, maybe even more, for safety between vehicular traffic and their vulnerable two wheelers. Most folks who ride bikes also drive cars, so they do tend to know the needs and wants of both the cyclist and a driver.
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