A bicycle accident in Sandy Springs over the Christmas weekend left a 50-year-old bicyclist seriously injured. According to police, the man was cycling when a car crossed right in front of him at an intersection. The cyclist had no way of avoiding the car. The impact threw him off the bicycle and on the road.He suffered head injuries, and was rushed to the hospital. The motorist has been charged with failure to yield.
As Atlanta bicycle accident lawyers, we have been concerned at what seems like the slow erasing of bicyclist safety from our surface transportation polices. Last month, Georgia Governor Sonny Perdue announced $65.8 million in transportation projects funded by federal stimulus dollars. Just two bicycle-friendly projects have been earmarked for funds.One is a multi use trail in Fulton County at a cost of $165,000, and the other is a Rails to Trails project in Warm Springs at a cost of $587,000.
On the other hand, there is some reason to cheer.The Federal Highway Administration has released its latest edition of national standards for traffic signs and signals, called the Manual of Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD).This edition includes specific instructions for the marking of sharrows, or share lane markings. These sharrows are typically marked on a road where there is no space for a bike lane, or when the bike lane is too close to parked automobiles, placing bicyclists in danger of being struck by opening car doors. Sharrows allow bicyclists to maintain safe routes, and also encourage motorists to share the roads with cyclists. Atlanta has plenty of narrow roads that may not allow for a separate bike lane, and we definitely need more sharrows.
With more Atlantans being lured to the freedom biking offers, it is becoming important that we reassess our transportation policies to make space for bicycles. Otherwise, we run the risk of creating a hostile situation with frequent confrontations between motorists and bicyclists.