Bike-Vehicle Collisions On The Rise In Montgomery County | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio

WAMU 88.5 : News

Filed Under:

Bike-Vehicle Collisions On The Rise In Montgomery County

Play associated audio
Cyclists don't have to hug the rail — they are allowed to occupy the road just like cars.
Elliott Francis
Cyclists don't have to hug the rail — they are allowed to occupy the road just like cars.

Collisions between bicycles and vehicles are on the rise in Montgomery County. This comes as the county is preparing its own bikesharing program, similar to D.C.'s Capital Bikeshare.

County councilwoman Nancy Floreen says the rising number of crashes may be a sign the county isn't ready for bikesharing. Council president Roger Berliner disagrees.

"The accident rates for those are so much less, because by definition, the people are using them for shorter trips and for a different purpose," says Berliner.

In hopes of reducing such collisions along state maintained roads, new signs are beginning to pop up to remind drivers that bikers are allowed to use the whole lane of the road. This led to a heated discussion during a council hearing today.

"When you don't have room for a bike lane, a lot of drivers think that the biker doesn't have the right to be there," said Councilman Hans Riemer , who thinks the signs are a good idea. "They drive more quickly, they swerve, they react vindictively almost to the biker. And the purpose of the sign is to communicate that it is their right. And they're as much a user of the road as a vehicle. And just because a vehicle is going slow, it doesn't mean they don't have the right to be there."

Councilman Marc Elrich responded by saying the signs will encourage bikers to take the whole lane unnecessarily, which will lead to slower traffic and heavier congestion.

"It's an invitation to get [drivers] to cross double yellow lines," said Elrich. "I think there has to be some balance in this. To me, bike riders should stay to the right side, and not be riding down the center of the road and not be riding two and three across. To me, it's just making for mischief and making for trouble."

County transportation officials say they are still determining along which county maintained roads the signs will be placed.

NPR

A Scientist's Journey From Beer To Microbiology To Bourbon Making

When his homebrew tasted bad, a college student decided to pursue microbiology. After more than a decade as a scientist, he's going back to brewing — but this time, he's moving up to bourbon.
NPR

A Scientist's Journey From Beer To Microbiology To Bourbon Making

When his homebrew tasted bad, a college student decided to pursue microbiology. After more than a decade as a scientist, he's going back to brewing — but this time, he's moving up to bourbon.
NPR

Dempsey Says If Needed He Would Recommend Ground Forces In Iraq

The chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff told a Senate panel he supports the president's plan to combat Islamic State militants but that if it proved necessary, he would recommend U.S. ground forces.
NPR

Minecraft's Business Model: A Video Game That Leaves You Alone

Microsoft is buying the company that created the video game Minecraft, which has a loyal following in part because of the freedom it allows players — including freedom from pressure to buy add-ons.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.