EUCLID MASTER PLAN and EXPLORE YOU WARD BIKE RIDES – March 2018
(originally published in the Euclid Observer – March 2018)
Bike Euclid applauds and encourages implementation of improvements to bicycling infrastructure included in the Euclid Master Plan, unanimously adopted by Euclid City Council February 5, 2018. We support the Trail Network recommendations, particularly the East 222nd Street Trail, a safe and necessary north-south connector in Euclid’s multi-modal transportation network. Find the plan at www.cityofeuclid.com/community/development/EuclidMasterPlan. And as the Euclid’s Waterfront Improvement project proceeds, Bike Euclid again wrote a letter of support for the City of Euclid’s Recreational Trails Program & Clean Ohio Trails Fund request for the Euclid Waterfront East Link Trail project. We have also provided support to help build walking/biking paths in Memorial Park through the City of Euclid’s Safe Routes to School submission for the Safe Routes to Park grant.
Explore your Ward with Bike Euclid! Beginning this year, Bike Euclid is teaming up with local councilpersons for bike rides through various parts of our community. The routes will highlight Euclid Master Plan recommendations. All are welcome! The first ride is hosted by our new Ward 4 councilperson, Christine McIntosh. Meet at Sims Park, near the Henn Mansion, April 14, 10 am – Noon. Dress for the weather, bring your bike (in good working order) and wear a helmet. Enjoy a brief safety presentation by Bike Cleveland’s Deltrece Daniels, followed by a short leisurely pedal through the local neighborhood and back to Sims Park. All participants must sign a waiver. All minors must be accompanied by an adult participant. All participants will receive a copy of the booklet Biking in Cleveland – A Guide, as well as a Bike Euclid button and a chance to win a Bike Euclid T-shirt and full front (white) and rear (red) light set! Riders of all levels are welcome! More experienced riders are invited to help, contact us at bikeEuclid@gmail.com with “Volunteer for Explore Your Ward” in the subject line. Contact your councilperson and tell them you are interested!
And as we move into warmer weather, take the 10 Minute Challenge. It is a simple way to add more biking to your life. It starts with the idea that for destinations within 10 minutes by bike from your starting point, biking is often the fastest, most practical option. The 10 Minute Challenge says that for trips two miles and under, biking rather than driving may save time and money. It’s something to think about the next time you’re on your way to the supermarket, the bank, the library, or one of our fabulous local parks. (from Biking in Cleveland – A Guide)
Our area was developed at a time when many did not own cars and is thus configured to support travel in a variety of ways. Whether by bike, car, or on foot, by following the law and being observant of our surroundings, together we have the power to give each other the safe streets we all want,. We also honor and show respect for one another by providing a clear and safe distance for pedestrians at crosswalks and by giving the three foot minimum between cars and bicycles when passing, according to state law (ORC 4511.27).
Consider the American Bicycling Education Association position statement (https://abea.bike):
- Bicycling is a relatively safe activity and safe mode of transportation. As with any other activity, some individuals are more prone to risky behavior than others, and the unsafe behaviors of those bicyclists make the overall risk seem higher than it really is for the reasonably cautious person.
- Bicycling has some inherent safety advantages compared to automobile travel. Slower operating speeds give cyclists more time to see, react to, and avoid hazards and conflicts. The bicycle’s narrow profile allows for greater maneuverability. The lack of a steel and glass body means the cyclist can see and hear better than a motorist. By being physically active, a bicyclist is generally more alert than a motorist.
- Based on data from the American Community Survey and the National Highway & Traffic Safety Administration, American bicyclists travel about 9 billion miles per year, and about 750 per year are killed in crashes with motor vehicles. This means the average bicyclist will travel 12 million miles before a fatal crash.
- Characterizing bicycling as dangerous is detrimental not only to the activity’s reputation, but to individual bicyclists as well, as many resort to ill-advised behaviors out of fear – behaviors that unfortunately actually increase their risk.
According to a report published by the American Journal of Epidemiology, Volume 166, Issue 2, 15 July 2007, “Motor Vehicle Crash Injury Rates by Mode of Travel, United States: Using Exposure-Based Methods to Quantify Differences”, authored by Laurie F. Beck Ann M. Dellinger Mary E. O’Neil, “The fatality rates for motor vehicle occupants, pedestrians, and bicyclists were 12.7, 1.6, and 0.3 per 100,000 population, respectively”. Simply put, you are about 42 times more likely to be in a fatal collision when in a car than on a bike.
And a study released in 2014 in the Journal of Safety Research, on the incidence of injuries in bicycle-pedestrian collisions, between 2004 and 2011, authored by Peter Tuckel and William Milczarski of Hunter College-City University of New York and Richard Maisel of New York University, states that, “…despite a steep increase of bicycle traffic, the rate of bicycle-pedestrian collisions is actually now on its way down.”. They make the observation that this increase in safety is due in large part to people simply paying more attention to one another.
We can do this! We can, together, create safe streets for all.
Ohio bicycling laws, summarized and according to OHIO REVISED CODE 2018:
- Bikes are legal vehicles and belong on the road. (ORC 4511.01)
- Cyclists should ride on the right side of the roadway, with traffic. (ORC 4511.25a)
- Cyclists may use the full lane just like cars. (ORC 4511.55)
- Motorists must give cyclists 3 foot minimum safe distance when passing. (ORC 4511.27)
- Cyclists may ride two abreast, but should avoid unnecessary delays to other traffic. (ORC 4511.55)
- Bikes should turn like any other vehicle – by merging to the appropriate lane and yielding to any traffic that has the right of way. (ORC 4511.36)
- A white headlight, red rear reflector and red taillight are required when riding at night. (ORC 4511.56)
Motorists, pedestrians, and bicyclists must know and understand these laws so we can better support each other in the safe use of our shared roadways. For further reading on the topic, we suggest checking out these online resources;
Steve Magus, Ohio Bike Lawyer (www.ohiobikelawyer.com) grew up in Euclid and is a statewide authority on bicycling and the law.
Ken Knabe, Greater Cleveland’s Bicycle & Car Accident and Safety Attorney, is an active member and enthusiastic supporter of Bike Euclid and Bike Cleveland. Ken has graciously compiled for us a list of all laws in the city of Euclid pertaining to bicycling, which can be found at http://klfohio.com/blog/euclid-ohio-bicycle-laws.
Show your pride in Euclid and support safe streets! Watch for Bike Euclid T-shirts to be for sale soon at Euclid City Hall, including some of the original design (with the hand painted Bike Euclid logo), children sizes, and new t-shirts with a safety message printed on the back. T-shirts are $20 and available at the City of Euclid Recreation Department window, during normal hours. Proceeds go directly to Bike Euclid advocacy efforts and support safe streets for all. Thank you for your support!
Author Kath Sonnhalter, Bike Euclid President