This Tribune was published the 25 of November of 2014 in the daily the Rioja.
Bike along the sidewalks: what can the Council do?
While almost promotion is done in Logroño, increasingly we see more people cycling for our city. It is logical: the bike is the means of transport faster in less than 5 km journeys. People will discover it at your own pace.
But to this incipient community of cyclists nobody les has explained by where should circular, many have fear to circular by it booted, and those lanes bike not respond to their demands of transport. And go to the sidewalks.
City Hall has created workshops of circulation in bicycle, has put Local police on patrol in this medium and has funded a campaign to instill respect for the safety distance drivers. There is a collective, Logroño on bike, which has developed training activities with the Popular University . Seems that not has been enough: to daily see circular bikes by sidewalks, without lights, crossing steps of pedestrians and putting is in danger by ignorance, rather than by bad faith.
We found two main problems: circulation along the sidewalks and lack of visibility due to absence of lights and reflective.
The sidewalk not should be shelter for bicycles. And say shelter because if the cyclists van by the sidewalk not is by whim: is by fear. Fear to circular by the calzada, because there is the perception of that is dangerous, and absence of lanes bike by where go with greater tranquility, although only is perceived.
Part of the problem comes from the old Ordinance, allowing travel on sidewalks whenever they were greater than true width. The Ordinance civic of 2011 it forbade, and is maintained the prohibition in the of promotion of the coexistence of 2013, but the town hall not it has reported (would it knew you?).
Another part comes from the path of the Rails bike. Some sections called development to the confrontation between pedestrians and bikes: in wall of Cervantes or Victor Prairie, invade the sidewalk and is leaves to them pedestrians to merced of the criterion of them cyclists, limiting the speed to 5 Km / h. But at 5 km/h does not deserve the penalty circular bike, because the speed of a pedestrian who walks fast: cyclists dismounted, or the path is changed to subtract space to the road surface, rather than removing it to pedestrians. We need to also check intersections: speed of cycling, a bike path parallel to a pedestrian crossing is dangerous and uncomfortable.
Sidewalk cyclists should be aware that cause unnecessary inconvenience to pedestrians, and just why should now avoid it. But also put themselves in a situation of discomfort and danger. Circular by the sidewalk in bike or is slow, in presence of pedestrians to which Dodge, or is dangerous if van to the speed to which can go a bike without sweating, between 15 and 20 km / h, because is impossible Dodge to a pedestrian that exit of a portal, for example. In the absence of bike lane, on the road you can go faster and take advantage of the potential savings of time giving bikes. And, surprise, is more secure that make it on the sidewalk.
Go down the sidewalk bike seems certain until we reached to crossings. Crossing a pedestrian crossing rode a bike is illegal and dangerous: in Vitoria, where bother to tabulate these things, half of all bicycle accidents occur at pedestrian crossings, garage outlets or because failure to comply with the priorities, probably because of lack of visibility. The drivers not expect bicycles crossing by steps of pedestrians and not can react in time before a bike to 15 Km / h. And cyclists, although they remember, many times do not reduce the speed or dismantling to the cross. Is very recommended get off of the bike to cross a step of pedestrians. would it know them cyclists? Do you know the City Hall?
Cyclists of sidewalk, try the driveway! You will be surprised: drivers are generally friendly and traffic is slow. And if not will dare, there are workshops to overcome the fear. Save time and be more safe.
About visibility, see all those days crowd of cyclists that circulate without carry lights. No lights or reflective, a bicycle is invisible by a driver and is exposed to an outrage. Have seen to people circular with helmet and without lights: not is more sensible to avoid an accident with lights that alleviate it with a helmet? Are mandatory, but is matter of being visible in Bike: are essential.
The good news is that many of these problems and accidents can be avoided by changing the behavior of cyclists: are cheap fix.
The City Council can resolve the issue by reporting these issues among all those riders that go wrong right now, without knowing it, through our streets. The police Local can apercibir to them cyclists of sidewalk and invite them to use the booted; you can do a campaign to give away games of lights – well cheap – who do not have them. You can make information campaign, and then, if necessary, sanction. But do something, or the issue will get worse.