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Phoenix bike lane expansion leads to caution over wrong-way bikers

Proposition 104 was passed last month in the city of Phoenix, and as a result, there will be more than 1,000 miles of new bike lanes in the city, in addition to some other transportation improvements. With this major expansion of bike lanes comes the inevitable boost to the biking population, and the biking community at large. More people will be biking as more bike lanes are added, and with the winter months ahead, temperatures will be more conducive to biking.

While the excitement over increased biking is understood, it has also led to some caution over a certain type of biking: wrong-way biking. Data from 2013 shows that wrong-way bikers are involved in a significant portion of bicycle accidents in Phoenix.

The data shows that 20 percent of bicycle accidents involved bicyclists that were traveling with the flow of traffic. 34 percent were wrong-way bikers, and another 40 percent of these crashes involved a biker that was crossing the street. There were 485 bicycle accidents in 2013, and there were 417 injuries as a result. 10 people were also killed in these accidents.

All told, this has led to a movement to warn bicyclists of the dangers of riding against the flow of traffic. 55 signs will be posted to alert bicyclists to the danger.

Of course, bicyclists are only part of the equation when a bike accident happens. The drivers of motor vehicles also play a part in keeping our roads safe. If they drive negligently and cause a bike accident, the bicyclists should consider legal action.

Source: Phoenix New Times, "Phoenix pushes bicyclists to avoid death and injury by riding with traffic flow," Ray Stern, Sept. 30, 2015

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