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Despite city's efforts, cyclist safety is not guaranteed

With more people turning to green transportation over the last decade, there are more cyclists on the roads. Although some cities made improvements to roads to increase bike safety, many people feel it is not enough.

In Hartford's Behind the Rocks and Southwest neighborhoods, for example, the city added speed humps on Brookfield Street in 2014. Speed humps are not the same as speed bumps; they are lower to the ground and wider. Unfortunately, the city did not add the speed humps to the bike lane. Many drivers simply swerve into the bike lane to avoid driving over the humps.

This creates an obvious danger to cyclists, especially since drivers often fail to watch out for people on bicycles, even in bike lanes. Hartford proposes adding plastic posts at the ends of speed humps to deter people from driving around the hump and into the bike lane. Whether this will solve the problem remains to be seen.

Bicycle safety concerns

Many cities across the country added bike lanes, signage and speed bumps/humps. As cyclists know, however, problems remain. A 2015 U.S. Department of Transportation study found the following issues facing cyclists:

  • Poorly designed roads and roads in disrepair
  • Traffic signals and roads designed only for heavy, high-speed vehicle traffic
  • Lack of clearly designated bike lanes and crossings
  • Intersections that are not safe for cyclists
  • Debris and drainage systems in bike lanes
  • Poor lighting and sightlines near public transit

Addressing these problems will take time. Until then, cyclists are largely responsible for their own safety.

Cyclists who are hit by a car can be severely injured. A small bump by a vehicle often means serious or life-changing injuries for the cyclist, including broken bones, road rash, leg injuries, spinal cord injuries and brain injuries. If you or a family member has been in a bicycle accident, you may need a lawyer's help to recover compensation for your medical expenses and related losses.

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