How Bicycle-Friendly is Your Neighborhood?

children riding bikes

Robert T. Lynch, P.E., Principal Collision Reconstruction Engineer

May is National Bicycle Safety Month, which is an appropriate time of the year to remind riders of best practices as they bring their bicycles out of winter storage to start taking advantage of the warmer weather. Regardless of whether you are a recreational rider (like me, who primarily rides around the neighborhood with my young kids) or one who racks up miles for exercise, a safe riding route is always a priority.

To this end, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has prepared a checklist to rate how bikeable your community is. Recently, I took my road bike out for a 10-mile loop around my local community in Lower Bucks County, PA. After the ride, I used the checklist to rate my route and found that I live in a bicycle-friendly community. During my ride, motorists were courteous in slowing down and providing a wide berth upon passing. The handful of road hazards that I encountered (i.e.- potholes, loose gravel, uneven asphalt patches) were easily identified and avoided.

However, I know that not all communities are particularly bicycle-friendly, specifically those in busy urban areas or those consisting of winding back-roads with narrow shoulders and limited sight distance. If you are a bicyclist who is concerned about your bicycle safety on the roads in your community, I encourage you to fill out the NHTSA checklist and rate your ride. For additional resources on bicycle safety, visit the NHTSA website.

Categories: Bicycle Expert | Collision Reconstruction | Robert T. Lynch


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