Bicycle Advocacy and Safety
Simply put, advocacy allows us to maintain, protect and improve bicycle facilities and infrastructure on our shared roadways. Intelligently designed roads that accommodate all users lead to greater use and a higher degree of safety. When polled on the use of bicycles, 60% of those polled said they would ride a bicycle if they felt safe on the road. There is a direct correlation between good road design and the health and well-being of a community.
Access these websites for detailed information on local as well as state-wide and national bicycle related issues.
www.massbike.org – Massachusetts Bicycle Coalition
www.nemba.org – New England Mountainbike Association
www.massdot.state.ma.us/highway/ – (Quick Links) 508-884-4317 (Anthony Masse)
MassBike provides info on programs such as Safe Routes to School, Same Roads/Same Rules, the state Bicycle Safety Bill ( enacted January, 2009). There is also a calendar of events and links to other advocacy and bicycle related sites.
MassDOT is where you find the new road design guidelines. These guidelines help engineers design roadways as shared roadways. Local DPW’s should follow these guidelines and, their Chapter 90 funds for road work are contingent on them using the guidelines. However, many town engineers find excuses not to follow the guidelines. The guidelines encourage the “outside-in” design practice where pedestrian space is designed first, bicycles next then motorized vehicles. They also require the use of 9′ and 10′ lanes and eliminating the double yellow centerline on secondary roads; this allows more space for bicycle riders.
Safe Routes to School (SR2S) – The best way to teach bicycle drivers and motorists rules of the road and acceptable behavior on shared roadways is to start young! SR2S teaches children in grade 4 how to wear a helmet, proper clothing, basic bicycle maintenance, and safety rules while riding a bicycle. Skills classes teach on-bike handling skills.
This is the National Bicycle Safety Network. Their goals are: Motorists will share the road Bicycle drivers will ride safely Bicycle drivers will wear helmets The legal system will support bicycling Roads and paths will safely accommodate bicyclists
Balancing transit, walking and bicycling with automobiles. Here on Cape Cod, the new administrator for CCRTA (Regional Transit Authority, Tom Cahir, is an advocate for multi-modal transportation. He has $60,000 to spend on bicycle related facilities on Cape Cod and has asked for recommendations. C4 should have a voice in this. Signage and road improvements are being talked.