A new Caltrans plan may increase the number of pedestrians and bicyclists on the road.
Recently, the California Department of Transportation — also known as Caltrans — issued a press release about their State Bicycle and Pedestrian Plan. Caltrans is seeking public review of their plan, which has a goal of doubling walking and biking across California by the year 2020. This plan is called “Toward an Active California, State Bicycle + Pedestrian Plan,” and has many goals involving safety, mobility, preservation, and social equality. While these objectives are worthwhile, they do raise questions about whether an increase in the number of people biking and walking will lead to a rise in the number of pedestrian and bicycle accidents.
The goals of Caltrans’ plan are great: getting Californians to be more active and to reduce the environmental impact of having so many vehicles on the road. However, there are a number of measures that will have to be put into place to make sure that our current infrastructure can support an increase number of cyclists and pedestrians safely. Caltrans is hoping to work with local governments to put these plans into place, and to utilize practices from around the world where dedicated bike lanes and other ideas have already been successfully implemented.
Bike lanes, crosswalks, and other safety features will likely help to increase the safety of bikers and walkers throughout California. However, with continued concerns about distracted driving, there is still a danger that a higher number of pedestrians and bikers on the roadways could lead to an increased number of accidents.
If Caltrans’ plans go into effect, Californians can expect to see increased construction as changes to infrastructure are made, so they should be aware of these danger zones as they drive. They should be alert to the potential for more bikers and walkers on the roads around them. While dedicated lanes and paths for bikers and walkers should alleviate some concerns about sharing the roadways, it is still vitally important that drivers share the roadway safely with pedestrians and bikers. That requires paying full attention to the road, and always being conscious of your surroundings. Yield to pedestrians, and be cautious when you see bicyclists. Even if they do not have the right of way and are not following the rules of the road, remember that in an accident, the cyclist will fare far worse than the motorist will, and act accordingly.
For bikers and walkers, remember that you have a responsibility to avoid accidents. If you have been hurt in an accident, whether as a pedestrian or bicyclist, you should contact a skilled pedestrian accident attorney or bike accident attorney as soon as possible.
At the Law Offices of Larry H. Parker, we represent victims of all types of accidents, including pedestrians and bicyclists who have been hurt in collisions. Contact our office today at 800-333-0000 or email@example.com to schedule a free initial consultation, and learn more about how we can help you if you have been hurt in an accident.