by Jonathan Copsey / The Milton Herald
April 10, 2012
MILTON, Ga. - In July, a cyclist was hit by a drunk driver from Milton while they were driving in Marietta. A month earlier, a man was riding his bike in Sandy Springs when he was killed after being hit from behind.
As most cyclists probably know, roads are not often the safest for riding, Milton's especially. They are narrow and winding, with little to no shoulder and often immediately turn into ditches and woodland. And with the warmer weather so far this year, cyclists will assuredly increase in numbers as summer looms closer.
But the city is working on it, said Public Works Director Carter Lucas.
"We're working to provide more asphalt and widen lanes slightly," said Lucas, who is an active cyclist. "That will add a little bit of a bikable shoulder."
While that won't quite be a full bike lane, at least it will give riders a little bit of space between them and faster-traveling traffic, Lucas said.
Under Georgia law, bicycles are considered vehicles. As such, they are expected to stay in the street instead of sidewalks, which are for pedestrians.
"You don't want someone going 20 mph next to pedestrians," Lucas said.
Similarly, a pack of road bicyclists traveling at 20 mph can be both a nuisance and a danger to cars traveling at least 40 mph.
The state recently passed a "3 foot rule" intended to require drivers to give cyclists at least three feet of distance when they are on the road.
There are some ways cities can helps cyclists and traffic keep out of each other's way. Some neighboring cities – such as Roswell – have begun adding bike lanes to the outside of newly paved roads, making it safer for both the rider and drivers. However, many of Milton's roads do not yet have these lanes. Clearly marked bike routes and signage are also possible, Lucas said.
The city is finalizing its parks and recreation master plan, which will include where to place bike paths throughout the city. These paths could be similar to the Greenway in Alpharetta, where the paths are wide enough to allow both joggers and cyclists.
"That's easier for the recreational-type biker to share with pedestrians," said Lucas. "But the hardcore biker would prefer to be on the road."
Thursday, April 12, 2012
Milton to become more bike-friendly.
Road improvements to help traffic, cyclists coexist.
Posted by Accessmilton Admin at Thursday, April 12, 2012