Staying Safe in Traffic: What Cyclists Need to Know

Of all the things that keep non-cyclists from saddling up and riding, none is greater than the fear of being struck by a motor vehicle.  I understand.  It wasn’t too long ago that I felt the same way.  Now, not so much.  Part of the reason why is that I’ve ridden a lot of miles on the road.  I’ve also learned what’s likely to happen and how to avoid the bad stuff.  That’s what I want to share with you today.
 
 
First things first.  If you ride safely and with confidence, the odds of being struck by a motor vehicle are pretty low.  In fact, approximately 50% of all bicycle-automobile crashes are the fault of the cyclist, and these are 100% avoidable.   Ride with traffic, not against it.  Follow all traffic laws all the time, not just when somebody’s looking.  Pay particular attention around intersections and driveways.  Assume they can’t see you.  These easy steps you can take that will reduce the risk of a crash by close to 50% and they’re entirely within your control.
 
So what else do you need to know?  Here’s a short list to keep in mind before you head out for your next ride.
 
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How to start your community on the path to official Walk Friendly Community recognition - information and resources

Walk Friendly Communities is a relatively new national program dedicated to creating and recognizing cities that are working to create a great walking environment for their citizens.

The Kansas City area is taking steps to become a national leader in the Walk Friendly Communities movement, and we encourage cities all across Missouri to follow suit and work towards officially recognized Walk Friendly Community status.

Earlier this month, the Mid-America Council (MARC), KC Health Kids, and the City of Grandview organized a Walk Friendly Communities training. A large number of communities from across the Kansas City area were represented--and a few communities from across Missouri and Kansas.

Now MARC has released the materials from the training, which allow any community to start to move forward towards Walk Friendly Community recognition:

Walk Friendly Communities is a national program that recognizes communities that show commitment to improving walkability and pedestrian safety with a comprehensive set of programs, plans and policies. The program can award different levels of recognition: Bronze, Silver, Gold or Platinum.

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ALERT: Federal funding for bicycling and walking under attack in Washington DC--by Missouri Congresswoman Vicky Hartzler

Federal funding for bicycling and walking--the primary funding source for better, safer bicycling and walking in America (and Missouri) today--is currently under attack in the U.S. House of Representatives.

Unfortunately, Missouri Congresswoman Vicky Hartzler has played a key role in this--most recently, she has  co-sponsored a bill to completely eliminate the Transportation Alternatives Program, the primary source of federal transportation funding for biking and walking. 

We need to send a strong message to Missouri members of Congress on this -- especially include Congresswoman Hartzler.  We need Missouri's members of Congress to take a leadership role in SUPPORTING biking and walking, not opposing it.

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