Sacramento Slow to Add Much-Needed Protected Bike Lanes
I’m Ed Smith, a Sacramento bicycle injury lawyer. There has been a recent push to get people outside and exercising more. While riding bikes is a great form of exercise, the city of Sacramento has been slow to add protected bike lanes that other major cities across the country have enjoyed for years.
Why are Bike Lanes Important?
As the economy continues to recover, it makes sense that people might be a little reluctant to use those hard-earned tax dollars to pay for bike lanes, especially if people don’t bike; however, having protected bike lanes is actually a very important issue. For example, anyone who has driven a car has likely seen a biker on the road at some point in the past. Drivers often get nervous passing bikers because they understand that hitting a biker could lead to traumatic injuries. Now, think about what this is like for someone riding a bike. Like pedestrian injuries, bikers don’t have any protection between them and the road. If they are hit by a car, they could easily suffer polytrauma, putting them in the hospital, or worse.
The Amgen Race is Coming to Town, but Sacramento is Behind
Despite the lack of bike lanes, Sacramento was selected to host the Amgen Tour of California. Both the men’s and the women’s races will be taking place near the state capitol, bringing much-needed attention to the city; however, Sacramento is still slow to build protected bike lanes. While bike lanes are nice, protected bike lanes physically separate the drivers of cars from the bicyclists, making them much safer while on the road and reducing the chance that bikers could suffer chest or abdominal trauma. In addition to protecting bikers, it also encourages the younger generation to move to the area and stimulate the economy. The millennials, simply, drive less and bike more. In a saddening study, Sacramento is only one of eight cities ranked in the largest 40 cities in the country to lack protected bike lanes. This mirrors a result from the Bicycling magazine that had Sacramento coming in at a cool 37 out of 50 top cities for bicyclists. The magazine even mentioned the lack of “progressive bike infrastructure” directly, highlighting a lack of biker protection. Most people understand that striking a biker with a car could lead to catastrophic personal injury.
While protected bike lanes have been slow to arrive, there are local officials and groups who are optimistic. Jim Brown, the leader of the Sacramento Area Bicycle Advocates, has stated that the city of Sacramento recently updated their bicycle plan and that the new mayor, Darrell Steinberg, will be more proactive when it comes to bicycles in the future. Protected bike lanes are important for reducing the injuries caused by car accidents and could be necessary to keep the Amgen bicycle race in Sacramento in the future.
Watch Youtube Video – A Case for Protected Bike Lanes. Although this video is not shot here in California, it sure makes a great case for the necessity of protected bike lanes. Notice how vulnerable the bike rider becomes when he steps off his bike and gets out in traffic. Keep in mind that bicylists have no form of protection around themselves. This video does a great job of demonstrating just how vulnerable bicyclists are when riding alongside other motorists.
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Contact an Experienced Bicycle Injury Lawyer
I’m Ed Smith, a Sacramento bicycle injury lawyer. Nobody deserves to be struck by a car while riding a bike. Anyone suffering a bicycle injury should contact me at (916) 921-6400 for friendly, free advice. I also have a toll-free number available at (800) 404-5400.
I am a proud part of the Million Dollar Advocates Forum in California. We are a group that is made up of some of the top-rated trial lawyers in the entire country. We have all obtained million-dollar and multiple million dollar verdicts on cases for our past clients.
View some of my results on this link: past verdicts and settlements.
Image Attribution: By Paul Sableman – Protected Bike Lanes, CC BY 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=56381682