Mayor Jerry Abramson and Metro Police Chief Robert White appeared together at Cycler’s Café today to speak to the public and press about bicycle and traffic safety in light of the recent death of Vance Kokojan, a cyclist who was hit by a car and killed on the Outer Loop last week. They mentioned the fact that three cyclists have died in the Louisville area over the past year in accidents involving a car. The two talked about the issues causing the jump in the number of cyclists, as well as how to solve the rising problem that is leaving many cyclists injured or dead.
“Gas prices keep climbing,” Abramson said. “More people are riding bikes to cope with rising costs.”
While he added towards the end of the discussion that the city tries accommodating cyclists as much as possible, there are still some blocks in the road. “Every road we asphalt we try to put bike lanes where safety allows,” he said.
Abramson mentioned the supportive programs at the YMCA and other community centers that are now taking the initiative to educate bicyclists on being more aware of their surroundings, and also on safety. He listed elementary safety tips that have been neglected in recent years that cyclists could follow which would reduce the number of accidents: obeying the same traffic laws as cars, riding on the correct side of the road and staying in one lane as opposed to weaving through cars that might not see the bicycle.
Both Abramson and White expressed the desperate need for both those operating a vehicle and those peddling bikes need to be aware of one another. “We are being a little more aggressive in paying attention (to negligent drivers and cyclists),” White said, but he also emphasized that law and order is not going to solve the problem. “Cyclists and vehicle operators need to start respecting one another.”
Cycler’s Café owner Joe Sohm briefly took the mic and expressed the same views: If the city of Louisville could learn to share the road, we would all be in a safer place. (Jess Mahanes)