Friday, July 18, 2008

More Bikes, Means More Safety Issues


More and more cities are starting to feel the presence of bicycles on the road. With gasoline prices rising every day, Americans are taking down their bicycles that have been hanging in their garage and using them as a transportation device instead of just a means of exercise or a toy.

With the increase of bicycles on the roads, there also has been an increase in problems. Road signs and lights are being ignored and people are becoming impatient. Buses, trains and subways are getting crowded by bikers as their bikes take up additional space from other passengers who commute.

Safety is one of the most concerning issues due to the increase of accidents as a result of more bicycles on the roads. Most motor vehicle drivers simply don't know how to drive when a bicycle is on the same road with them. They can't see them as well because bikers are not wearing bright clothes, reflectors or blinking lights. It is very difficult for someone who is driving a car to see them. They are smaller than the rest of the cars and sometimes blend in with other objects on the roadside. Some bikers are riding recklessly and not obeying traffic laws. There are also pot holes in the roads that need to be fixed, and most roads do not have bicycle lanes. Some car drivers have actually bullied bikers off the road and have been caught doing so. Both car drivers and bike riders are having a hard time adjusting. It is inconvenient for car drivers and a huge change for bikers.

Government officials appear to be looking into these situations and they expect the trend of biking to increase. They are stating that it will be an increasing way of life for many Americans and that our cities are going to have to adjust accordingly. They know it is not just a trend, but a new approach to transportation that is here to stay and it will increase. Cities are going to have to adjust to this new transportation method and build structures and implement laws accordingly. Subway trains might have to have more bike racks or whole train cars might have to be used just for passengers with bicycles. All roads are going to be required to have bike lanes and all traffic violators will be ticketed.

With all of these changes and adjustments, there is actually something positive. Americans will be healthier due to all the extra exercise and the environment will be less polluted. High gasoline prices might actually be our salvation!
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