MDOT awards Grand Rapids grant for bicycle safety program
Caroline MacGregor July 23, 2013 | WGVU The grant
for 485 thousand dollars will be used to study, develop, and evaluate a bicycle
safety program over a three-year period. It will focus safety education and
training for cycling in traffic, increase the responsibilities of both bicyclists
and motorists and promote a “share the road” culture.
MDOT and city
staff will gather input from the local bicycle community, including the Rapids
Wheelmen, the Greater Bicycle Coalition, and other bicycle friendly groups as
well as the Downtown Development Authority and neighborhood and business
Chris Zull, Manager of
Grand Rapids’ Traffic Safety Department, says the public will be included in
the planning through special events. He says the city has come a long way since installing its first official half a mile of bike lanes in 2010.
“on a bicycle”
Manager, Mike Smith, says the program is expected to be used as a model for
other municipalities with safety and education the top focus.
Michigan’s rate of bicycle accidents is lower than the national average, it’s
higher for young people aged 5-15. Almost half of all fatal and serious injury
bicycle accidents (48.9%) occurred at signalized intersections. More than 27
percent of fatal and serious crashes occur between the hours of 3:00 p.m. and 6:00 p.m.
with the Greater Bicycle Coalition is impressed with the commitment the city continues
to show to improve bicycle safety and awareness.
“through this program”
develop the program over the next eight to twelve months and implementation is expected
in the fall of 2014.
The total cost of the project is $631,653; $485,321 of that from federal transportation enhancement funds. The rest is from participating and non-participating match
costs from city planning and traffic safety departments, Downtown Grand Rapids Inc., and private sources.
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