Remember that streets belong to people, not just cars.
It may seem that streets are just made for vehicles, but they aren’t. Streets are there for all of us to utilize. Whether biking or walking on the side of the road, or even crossing the street, these other users have just as much right to the road as cars do. And if there is a conflict with a car, these other users always lose.
But it isn’t just cars that need to share the road, pedestrians and bicyclists need to do the same. All users have a responsibility to adhere to their rules of the road. This means that bikers need to ride with traffic, obeying traffic lays and riding single file.
Pedestrians, where there isn’t a sidewalk, need to walk against traffic. They also need to stop and look both ways before crossing the road. Don’t just walk out into the street! Even though you might have the right of way, physics dictates that you will lose a battle with a car.
How to share the road:
First and foremost, no matter what your mode of travel – car, bike or on foot – be aware of the others on the road (other cars, bikes and people, don’t forget about animals as well).
Vehicles: Drive the speed limit. Stay off your phone. Allow pedestrians to cross in cross walks. Give bikers three feet to pass. Obey all traffic laws.
Pay attention to younger riders on the road: Children ages 5 to 9 have less coordination for pedaling, more trouble recognizing and avoiding obstacles and lack adult hand-eye coordination. Pre-teens ages 10 to 14 cannot always identify oncoming cars in busy intersections because they are not fully able to recognize objects from a busy background.
Bikes: Ride with the traffic, obeying all traffic laws. Ride single file – that’s the law. Be polite to other road users and pass with caution, letting others know you are coming upon that you are there.
Pedestrians: If there isn’t a sidewalk, walk against traffic. It is easier for them to see you. Keep your head up and pay attention to other users. When crossing the road, stop and look both ways and proceed when it is clear. Don’t just expect cars to stop for you. If you are walking with your dog, keep it on a lease to prevent your four-legged family member from running into the street.
Everyone: Support initiatives to implement traffic calming measures and those that aim to add biking / walking paths.
Next time you are on the road (driving, biking or walking) notice the other users out there with you.