U.S. Dept. of Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx spoke at this week's National Bike Summit about bicycles as vehicles for opportunity and the need for safe pedestrian and bike facilities. He's posted a related blog piece. Aside from any infrastructure investments, we can each do our part to make our streets safer for pedestrians and cyclists.
When residents and visitors in our ward can safely access local businesses, schools, parks and other destinations safely without getting into a car, it's a win for quality of life. Businesses can serve more customers with less parking. Employees at businesses have more transportation options. Traffic congestion can be reduced.
When you are a driver or passenger, do you look before opening your door to avoid creating a hazard for approaching cyclists? Are you aware that injuring someone with your car door is a violation of Chicago law?
Are you also aware of these laws regarding pedestrian and bike safety?
The number of 19th ward driver who slow or stop to yield to pedestrians at crosswalks is disappointingly low. Can we make a commitment as a ward to be more conscious of the idea that people on foot and on bikes have as much right to get where they're going safely as anyone in a car? If a pedestrian is waiting to cross Longwood Dr., 99th St., or any other street where drivers tend to disregard anyone on foot, will you slow or stop in compliance with the law to allow that person to cross safely?
Let's make 2014 a safer year for pedestrians and cyclists in our ward. Each of us can make a difference.