The Seabreeze Beacon

Biking Lanes Save Lives


By Gloria Way

  Bicycles are considered vehicles. Bicyclists have every right to be on the road as cars and trucks. Texas law states if you are driving, you stop and yield for pedestrians, bicyclists, and other vulnerable road users on crosswalks. It is a simple and undisputed fact: Following traffic laws and staying focused can prevent unthinkable tragedy on the road. Yet, in Texas, pedestrian and bicyclist fatalities continue to rise. When turning, yield the right of way to pedestrians and bicyclists, and pass bikes at a safe distance and give bicyclists room to ride.

  In Chambers County, cycling has become a very popular sport to boost health and as a popular sport for recreation. Unfortunately, there are very few, if any, designated bike lanes in the county.

Bike lanes provide a designated space for cyclists to ride, separate from motorized vehicles which can help reduce the risk of injuries caused by crashes and improve safety for both cyclists and drivers. The roadway does not have physical barriers to separate cyclists from motorists. Instead, signs or pavement markings identify the bike lane. A car or truck is never allowed in the bike lane and bicyclists do not have to ride on a traffic lane with a bike lane present.

  Chambers County has been strongly encouraged by those who have lost loved ones in tragic cycling accidents to create designated space for cyclists to ride separate from cars and trucks. With all the money that is being spent on new roads and road improvements, including a bike lane would be very beneficial. Former Commissioner Pct 4 Billy Combs stated, “At the least, ensure all new roads, etc, have a shoulder.”  He added that with all the growth in residential developments throughout the county, bike lanes should be available so youth and adults alike can cycle safely on roads in Chambers County.

  Chambers County has always been a haven for the avid sportsman. Cycling has become a huge sport not only recreationally but competitively as well. And as Combs said, with all the new road construction and upgrades, bike riding lanes would benefit everyone, and save lives.

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