Even though much of the warmer weather is over for this year and the colder winter season is approaching, the topic of road safety is still on the minds of many people in Chicago. And it is no wonder since the traffic on the city streets is composed of cars, buses, bicycles, pedestrians, and additional forms of transportation.
A recent article discussed the fact that some major newspapers often publish pieces that may be considered by some to be anti-bicyclist and anti-pedestrian. However, recently the Tribune ran a piece with a noticeably less harsh view toward bike riders and walkers, and instead advocated a position that everyone who uses the roadways is responsible for knowing the rules of the road and promoting safety.Sharing the Streets
The piece referenced in the article focused on the need to share the road from a pedestrian's point of view. The author shared a personal experience that he, a pedestrian, had with a bike rider who almost ran him over despite the fact that the rider had a red light at an intersection, and where the author had a walk signal. The real emphasis was that bike riders pose a threat to pedestrians and that they should be aware of, and be expected to, follow traffic safety laws appropriately.
Unfortunately, it is the opinion of many pedestrians that bike riders simply do not follow traffic laws, as they are usually not enforced against them. On the other hand, bike riders will point out that many pedestrians likewise do not heed warning signals or take safety measures where appropriate. Some point out that many walkers simply walk blindly into traffic as they attempt to navigate the streets.
Bike riders also tout the benefits of having a bike lane as an example of making traffic safer by encouraging stoplight compliance. The point is that while there are undoubtedly bike riders who choose not to follow traffic laws, there are many who do.Education
It seems that no matter what side of the argument one finds him or herself on, most reasonable participants can agree that education about traffic safety laws and rules of the road would go a long way in promoting traffic safety and reducing the number of accidents that occur. Bicyclists are supposed to be held to the same rules as car drivers, and if they knew that and coupled it with basic knowledge of these rules, perhaps all roadway users would be more likely to share the road and less likely to participate in conflict.
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