Cycling season is rolling: stay alert, share the road
The Park Record editorial, May 17-19 2017
May 16, 2017
Summit County drivers may not have to worry about driving through snowstorms for a couple of months, but they still need to be on high alert. Friday is Bike to Work and School Day which officially kicks off the busy summer cycling season in Park City and throughout the county. Throw in a few orange construction barrels along with the cyclists, and you've got yourself a pretty challenging obstacle course.
Park City prides itself on its Gold Level bike trail status, conferred by the International Mountain Bicycling Association. While those miles are located off road, the region's rural highways and byways attract tons of riders too. And while the city and the Basin have added bike lanes in many areas, there are plenty of scenic but shoulderless miles that traverse the county.
Statistically, local riders and drivers have a relatively unblemished record. But the numbers elsewhere in the state are grim. Last year there were five bike fatalities on Utah roads. One cyclist has already been killed by a motorist this season. The accident occurred in West Valley City.
Park City is helping to host Friday's event and other activities this month with an emphasis on safety. The goal is encourage everyone to share the road.
Some upcoming events include the Bike to Work and School Celebration from 7:30 to 10:30 a.m. on Friday at the Park City Library and the Park City Olympic Plaza on Park Avenue and Mountain Trails Madness on Wednesday, May 23 at 5:30 p.m. at The Doubletree by Hilton on Park Avenue. The events include bike inspections, kids helmet giveaways and safety demos.
Ensuring Park City's bike safety record continues to match its vaunted trails status will take a concerted effort from both drivers and riders. Drivers need to maintain a sharp lookout — which includes staying off their cell phones — and give cyclists at least three feet of leeway. For their part, riders need to maintain awareness of traffic in front and behind them, and yield additional space to allow traffic to move at a normal pace. Nothing infuriates drivers more than side-by-side riders moseying down the center of their lane.
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Whether driving, riding or walking, local residents have been itching to play outside. As long as everyone obeys the rules, and perhaps takes one additional measure to share the road, it will be the best summer ever.
For more information about the laws regarding bike and car travel go to: http://www.roadrespect.utah.gov/