As a cyclist safety is a big concern with everyone as they’re riding through town. Whether it’s a joyride around the block or the daily commute from home to the office, being safe out there on the road is something that follows us all as we pedal forward.
Being aware of your surroundings at all times as a cyclist is the biggest tool to being safe, next to wearing a helmet at all times. But sometimes that isn’t enough.
Careless drivers have put Thomas Berry, sophomore student at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at ASU, in danger in the past. A driver in Tempe cut off Berry while he was riding because the driver didn’t see him.
“There are a lot of problems with safety in Phoenix. There are not enough bike lanes for cyclists. A lot of drivers don’t respect cyclists so it gets dangerous riding on the road,” Berry said.
One thing that Berry thinks would make cycling safer in the valley would for there to be many more bike lanes than there are now.
When there aren’t bike lanes cyclists have to take to riding on the sidewalk when it is a busy street. Environmental Resource Management student, Sean Mayall, frequently rides on the sidewalk.
“I don’t always ride on the street,” Mayall said. “It depends on where I am and what time of day it is.”
Riding at high traffic hours can slow down cyclists and keep them on the sidewalk. Many of the sidewalks in Phoenix are in very poor array.
Every cycling related accident that I have gotten in while riding in Phoenix was on the sidewalks. Usually because of the large cracks and narrow ways on the sidewalks I’d find myself being flung off my bike with a skinned arms and knees, wishing there was a bike-lane.
But the roads aren’t much better off. In many places the roads are in poor condition too because of the hot sun that beats down on Phoenix.
Phoenix is much more biker friendly than it has been in the past, but it is still coming along. Thankfully, due to hotspots like Fillmore, Grand Avenue, and the Sonoran Bikeway cycling in Phoenix has become much more easy. But will it be perfect? Only time will tell.