Bikers Battle for Traffic Space

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bikingandwalkingVERMONT- As the weather warms up, Vermont residents may be inclined to walk or bike to work instead of drive.  With more people on the road, there is an increase in road safety issues and the availability of space for drivers, bikers, and walkers equally.

Lieutenant Gary Scott of the Vermont State Police says they're are looking into ways to increase the awareness of both motorists and bicyclists when it comes to road space.

"We have to figure out what the major problems are, and where can we fix the infrastructure. If we can't, I think the long term is education; how do we reach the motorists and let them know what they should expect when they're coming upon a bicyclist, what the bicyclist should be doing, and how do we reach them because a lot of times that education isn't taking place."

Educating the public to be aware of spacial necessities to the different forms of transportation is important, but having specific spaces set aside for residents biking or walking equally urgent. The town of St. Johnsbury has seen an increase of 9.9% of people choosing alternative forms of transportation posing the issue that it could be dangerous if not enough space is provided.

"I think the infrastructure of where we can move or have a separate total bike lane with a barrier would be best," Lieutenant Scott said. If bikers and walkers had their own, separate lane for transportation, the risk for accidents and road rage encounters would decrease.  
 
Lucky for Vermonters, collisions between motorists and bikers are rare. "In Vermont, we don't have a lot of bicycle crashes.  We haven't had a fatality in three or four years now, so that's maybe fewer than 200 crashes per year involving cars and bicycles." Lieutenant Scott told us.  

Vermonters are continuously trying to choose more environmentally friendly options to commute; whether it is biking, walking, or carpooling, but there continues to be a risk for people on the road who have to compete with cars until a safer solution can be put into place.