Workers placed 55 stickers on existing signs to alert bicyclists going against traffic that they are riding the wrong way. (Source: KPHO/KTVK)
MESA, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) -
While it’s not illegal to ride your bike against traffic on a sidewalk in the city of Phoenix, traffic engineer Kerry Wilcoxon says it’s not always safe. But, an even bigger safety concern is people who ride against traffic on city streets, which violates state law.
"If you do get hit, you are much more likely to be severely injured as opposed to a rear-end crash where you can be knocked down and the difference between the two speeds isn’t that great," he said.
The other problem with riding against traffic rather than with traffic has to do with driver expectations.
"When you are a driver coming up to an intersection you look to the left primarily because that’s where the threat is," he explained. "A bicyclist or pedestrian coming at you from the right is often coming at you at a speed and direction you’re not expecting."
Wilcoxon says one in three Phoenix bike crashes involves a wrong-way rider.
The city has launched a public safety awareness campaign for the month of October. Workers placed 55 stickers on existing signs to alert bicyclists going against traffic that they are riding the wrong way. They are mostly found in the downtown area and along stretches of Seventh and 15th avenues.
During the month, some city buses will be wrapped with messages and feature posters reminding drivers and bicyclists to look out for each other.
Recently, city leaders approved a Bicycle Master Plan with the goal of making it safe and easy to ride anywhere in Phoenix in the next 20 years.
The Maricopa Association of Governments (MAG) has created a map of bike lanes and routes across the Valley. You can see it here.
Copyright 2015 KPHO/KTVK (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.