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MI Safety Matters - Detroit Gives Cyclists More Space, Adding Bike Lanes to City Streets

Warm temperatures in Michigan serve as plenty of encouragement for residents across the state to get outside and participate in many beloved outdoor activities. Riding a bicycle is one of the most popular, as it not only a fun hobby, but it also serves as a green and economical form of transportation. However, increasing the number of bicyclists on roadways consequently also increases the chances of a Michigan bicycle accident occurring. An experienced Detroit personal injury lawyer sees examples of this often–many motorists do not give the necessary to respect to cyclists on the road, and crashes ensue, resulting in significant personal injury or death. To combat this, Detroit is undertaking a large public service project, creating bicycle lanes throughout the metropolis in efforts to decrease the amount of auto-bicycle collisions within the city.

As another effort geared at revitalizing Detroit, safety advocates and concerned citizens want to develop a system that allows residents to get around without a car, adding bicycle lanes and paths connecting many attractions throughout the city. Residents hope that the changes will make bicycles a respected form of transportation. Wayne State University doctoral student Jon Koller, 25, uses a bicycle to commute to class, and believes the updates will be incredibly helpful. “I think it’s going to encourage more people to get out there and take biking as a serious form of transportation,” he explained.

Fortunately, Koller and other Detroit residents will not have to wait long to see changes made–the project begins this year, affecting approximately 30 miles in a few different neighborhoods. However, by the completion of the mission, it is estimated that bike lanes will cover about 400 miles of Detroit roadways. In addition, 12 miles of street space will be deemed official bicycle routes, complete with signs directing bikers to their destination, and alerting motorists of their presence. The new space for cyclists will be made from current traffic lanes, repainting the lines to form a five-foot-wide area from the curb.

Due to the encouragement of safety groups such as Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan and the Kresge Foundation, as well as the dwindling economy, Detroit began devising plans for non-motorized transportation so that all residents can get around the area easily. Advocates maintain that in previous years, Detroit paid too much attention to motorized traffic in the city, even though walking or biking are essential to making a community vibrant and livable. The national statistics affirm this criticism–in a 2010 report from the League of American Bicyclists, Michigan’s motor city ranked close to the bottom of American cities in bicycle lane availability or designated routes per square mile. Luckily, city officials’ main goal is solving this problem, ensuring the safety of all on the road, bicyclists and motorists alike.

Although the measures taken by the City of Detroit are admirable, there are many other things that can be done to prevent Michigan bicycle accidents. Both cyclists and drivers need to pay attention to the road and traffic signals always, as distracted driving is the cause of many devastating collisions. Additionally, bikers should always wear appropriate safety gear (particularly, a helmet) as protective outfitting can help decrease the impact of a crash, should an emergency occur. For a victim of a bicycle accident and their family, many questions undoubtedly remain causing great confusion and distress. For answers, as well as the highest quality legal representation, the best step is to contact a hard-working and trustworthy Detroit bicycle accident lawyer immediately. Doing so will help ensure that you receive the best advice and the best possible outcome for your personal injury claim.