Road safety has been a major topic on this hobby blog since … well.. since I started blogging back in 2008. We’ve dealt with plenty of drunk driving, kids on skateboards getting hit, pedestrians getting dragged under cars, automobiles going through “invisible” stop signs…Oh, the list goes on. This Spring/summer there will be a new road challenge in our bike-city by the sea: The increase in cyclists on roads since the boardwalk is temporary absent. This issue was brought to me by a local named JRLB, who writes:
As a LB resident, who is looking forward to the warmer weather, I believe the town needs to be proactive in protecting it’s citizens who will be biking on the streets vs. the boardwalk this season. I think the local bike shops should take an active role in their community. We all know people’s lack of respect for street signs through the town, but as it warms up more and more people will be riding along Broadway and other heavy traffic areas. How can we be proactive about protecting residents who get out on their bike during the nice days?
JRLB is absolutely right. Since the driving culture in Long Beach refuses to change (ignoring stop signs and speed limits), something or somebody needs to step up to make sure the roads are safe for all. Yes, I know some of you will say pedestrians and cyclists ignore road rules as well. You are correct, but I have repeated this before and it needs repeating again: Between pedestrians, cyclists and automobiles, the automobiles are the more dangerous weapon. It’s a privilege to drive; you don’t need a license to be a pedestrian or ride a bike.
So what can get we do? Maybe we can get some proper bike lanes around town? The bike stencils aren’t enough. You need lines to actually create a bike lane. The streets are wide enough, so there is plenty of room. JRLB adds “Maybe it would be prudent for the bike shop owners to reach out to the bike manufactures for assistance for bike safety. It’s something these bigger companies can help with communities who lose so much.” Umm maybe also Decobike? Long Beach is one of the few towns on Long Island that has a bike culture. We definitely need to make sure our streets are safe through this boardwalk transition.
(my frankenbikestencil -A combo of both the decobike and boardwalk stencils)