Cyclists and drivers struggle for harmony

1 08 2008

Even in Portland, OR – America’s most bicycle friendly city – drivers and cyclists are having violent confrontations with each other.

“A number of violent confrontations in recent weeks between cyclists and drivers have weighed on Portland’s reputation as America’s most bike-friendly city, while accidents and “road rage” incidents are prompting other cities to try and make the roads safer for bikes and ease the hostility.

In mid-July, an angry driver chased down a Portland cyclist and carried him for several blocks on the car’s hood…Portland had six cyclists killed in accidents last year.”

“The city, which already has 170 miles of bike lanes, is experimenting with bike boxes, or large painted areas at the front of an intersection allowing bikes to move to the front and stop at a light in front of cars.

The bike boxes are designed to end the dreaded “right hook” when a bicyclist is traveling straight and is cut off by a car turning right.

More accidents are part of the growing pains of an increase in bike commuting, but the situation will improve as ridership grows, according to bicycle advocates.

“The data shows that as more people ride, the streets get safer,” said Scott Bricker executive director of Portland’s Bicycle Transportation Alliance.”

Full article here:  http://www.reuters.com/article/inDepthNews/idUSN2545003820080801

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