Bad News For Cyclists
The week after taking the time to go over the Bicycle Helmet Debate comes news from the Highway Traffic Safety Administration that cycling deaths increased 8.7% in 2011. That’s quite a large increase from one year to the next if you ask me.
The article from New Jersey News Room goes on to quote statistics from The LA Times, that 70% of bicycle related deaths are from head injuries, yet only one third of cyclists choose to wear a helmet–another thing to consider when mulling over the helmet decision–although there are a lot of factors in making this decision.
Jonathan Atkins deputy executive director of the Governors Highway Safety Association, believes that the deaths may be attributed to the increase in bicycling seen across the country. With the increase in bicycling and walking, infrastructure to accommodate and create safe roads lags behind.
Looking To The Future…
Interestingly, after reading this article I found a poll on NJ.com, “Do You Want More Bike Lanes In Your Town?” On my way to work, there are zero bikes lanes, in fact, to get anywhere near my home there are no bike lanes. Sometimes I’ll ride from my home in South Brunswick, through Franklin and North Brunswick, and New Brunswick, and don’t even see as much as a sharrow along the ride.
Do I want more bike lanes in my town? Yes. But the poll suggests that New Jerseyans feel otherwise: Roughly 60% vote no while 40% say yes.
This poll comes as Mayor Healy of Jersey City reveals a plan to put in place almost 55 miles of bike lanes and shared bike routes in Jersey City in response to the increase in demand for projects like this. Coupled with the bike lanes, is a plan to help store owners in the city purchase bike racks at a discount. Two amazing wins for all residents in Jersey City, not just bicyclists.
What we need are more projects like this, which move us forwards, instead of being moved backwards. It’s worrisome to see that so many people are scared of bike projects, and encouraging such a sustainable form of transportation. But, in good time I’m sure we’ll be seeing changes not just in progressive cities, but all over the United States, in suburban and rural communities as well.