Chattanooga To Add More Bicycle Road Facilities, Improve Enforcement
With 2,300 bicyclists in town for the 3 State, 3 Mountain Challenge, Chattanooga goes on the offensive to maintain it's bicycle friendly image. "We are interested in their safety and working to provide that," says Assistant Police Chief Mike Williams.
Discussions about what to do to improve conditions for area cyclists began shortly after the death of David Meek. "The biggest thing that I keep hearing from everyone is enforcing the 3 foot law. And a lot of people and a lot of officers weren't even aware that that law was in existence, but they are now," says Williams.
Officers have already received training bulletins about ordinances and laws concerning bicycles, something that's helped in other communities. "Not really any easy vehicle to teach the public about any new law, as it relates to traffic law, and its definitely an uphill battle to get the word out," says Keith Roth, of the Jeff Roth Bicycle Foundation.
Chattanooga's Mayor says the city will be doing more to promote bikes in the months to come. For example, signage and markings like these will be added to nearly a dozen roads. "We'll be seeing markings around Brainerd, and downtown, and East Brainerd Road, and Hixson and Lookout Valley and many other places," says Mayor Ron Littlefield.
And this summer, officers will institute a special enforcement with plain clothes officers on bikes. Williams says "if they do have someone that comes by and throws something out of the car at them or they swerve over and try to run the biker off the road they will be met with one of our officers," says Williams.
If these efforts prove successful, Chattanooga could move from bronze to silver standing as a bicycle friendly community.
Work on the following roads to add bicycle facilities will begin Monday:
Share the Road bike route on Centraol Ave. from the E 11st St. bike lanes to McCallie Ave.
Share the Road bike route on McCallie Ave. from Central Ave. to the Brainerd tunnel
Share the Road bike route on Brainerd Rd. from the Brainerd tunnel to Belvoir
Bike Lanes on Belvoir from Brainerd Rd. to North Terrace
Share the Road and sections of bike lanes on Brainered Rd. from Belvoir to Moore Rd.
Share the Road and sections of bike lanes on Riverfront Pkwy. from Carter St. to S. River St.
Bike Lanes on Igou Gap Rd. from Gunbarrel Rd. to Jenkins Rd.
Add Share the Road signs and sharrows to Ashland Terrance
Share the Road on Cummings Hwy. from Lilac Ave. to Brown's Ferry Rd.