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Saturday, March 22, 2008

"Russian roulette" in Indianapolis

After more than 200 accidents and four deaths involving cyclists and motorists in the Indianapolis area last year, the Indianapolis Star reports local cycling advocates are hoping education and respect will go a long way to a safer 2008.

"It's intimidating as a cyclist," said Jonathan Juillerat, general manager of Nebo Ridge Bicycles in Carmel. "Riding city streets sometimes feels like Russian roulette, so I made a conscious decision not to ride as much because of that. Eventually, I feel like my number will be up because motorists aren't paying attention."

Nancy Tibbett -- president of the Central Indiana Bicycling Association, best known for putting on the Hilly Hundred and N.I.T.E. Ride each year -- told the Star that Indiana has a long way to go before being thought of as a bicycle-friendly state. She also said most roads in the Indianapolis area aren't designed for motorists and cyclists to co-exist.

She did note that progress is being made on bike lanes and bike routes in the region. Until then, she suggest that motorists and cyclists can share the roads if they traffic laws.

The Indiana Bicycle Coalition is attempting to educate cyclists and motorists about their rights and obligations. The coalition has published brochures urging cyclists and motorists to share the road and to follow the rules of the road.

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