College campuses are often brimming with bicycling students, especially in Washington State. Between bicyclists, pedestrians and cars, there is plenty of opportunity for accidents to occur. On Tuesday, a student at Western Washington University was hit by a car when riding his bicycle. That led Carol Berry, who is the program coordinator for the university’s Sustainable Transportation, to urge bicyclists and drivers alike to pay attention 100% of the time they are riding are driving. Just a moment’s inattention can lead to serious consequences.
EverybodyBIKE (everybodybike.com) is a Bellingham-based bike resource program. They encourage safe bicycling and provide riders with brochures, videos and information on upcoming bike events. They have shared “Five Principles of Confident City Cycling”:
1. Ride visibly.
• Ride on the right, with traffic.
• Ride in the middle of the lane when necessary, for example, when riding along a row of parked cars.
• Ride in the left lane for turns.
• Use lights and reflectors at night.
• Avoid riding on sidewalks.
2. Communicate your intent.
• Choose the appropriate lane position.
• Signal before turning.
• Avoid blind spots.
3. Handle intersections defensively.
4. Beware of roadway hazards.
• Cross railroad tracks perpendicularly.
• Avoid slippery surfaces (leaves, sand, roadway markings, etc.)
• Give clearance to angle parked cars.
• Anticipate driver vision problems.
• Avoid potholes, debris and broken glass.
• Avoid car doors.
5. Prepare for bicycling.
• Check air, brakes, chain and quick release levers.
• Prep for wet weather.
• Lock securely.
• Wear protective gear.