Carmel Bike Safety Awareness
Writer / Janelle Morrison
The warm weather is upon us, and May is officially “Bike Month” in Carmel. The city is pleased to announce the launch of their Carmel Bike Safety Awareness initiative this month. Geared at promoting biking while biking safely, the city wants to educate the cyclists and motorists on how we can share the roads safely.
David Littlejohn, AICP, Alternative Transportation Coordinator for the Department of Community Services for the City of Carmel provided an overview of the city’s latest initiative.
“The city has been recognized as a ‘Bicycle-Friendly’ community by the League of American Bicyclists since 2006,” Littlejohn said. “Every year, our city council does a resolution to announce the month of May as ‘Bike Month’ and promote using your bike to get around the city. We have Bike to School Day on May 4 this year and Bike to Work Day on May 20. We have participated in Bike to Work Day for over 10 years and Bike to School Day for a few years now, working with the Carmel Clay Schools administration. These are opportunities to promote our bike-friendly community.
“This year we decided that we should promote biking safely to cyclists and on safely sharing the road with motorists where bikes are present. We want to educate the public on some of the rules that create habits of a safe cyclist and motorist. On our website and on our printed handouts, we identify these things that promote biking safely on the Monon Trail, multi-use paths and within the streets.
“There has been some confusion on who is responsible for stopping when people running, walking or on bikes approach the intersections of the Monon. The way that the state law is written, you are required to yield to pedestrians within the crosswalk of the Monon. The trail has stop signs on either side that requires trail users to stop at the intersection and make sure that it is safe to cross. We want cars to approach the Monon intersections with caution, but we also want the Monon user to be responsible when crossing the intersection. We are trying to prevent cyclists from darting out in front of traffic and make the public aware of the laws.”
City council members Bruce Kimball, Ron Carter and others from the city level have been very involved with creating and launching this initiative. They decided that the month of May would be an excellent platform for getting the message out, and since this is typically the beginning of bicycle season, they wanted to initiate the advocacy early on in the biking season, so that they can create safe habits throughout the entire season. Promoting a bicycle-friendly community is important, but the city wants everyone to enjoy biking around the city and the neighborhoods safely.
For more information on Carmel Bike Safety Awareness, visit bikecarmel.com.