A letter in todays "Town Topics" from local resident John Frederick claims that "no effort seems to be spent on impressing cyclists on a local level with their responsibilities" to cycle safely. As a member of Princeton's volunteer Pedestrian and Bicycling Advisory Committee, this statement seems strange. The PBAC team has already been involved in multiple educational outreach events this year:
- In March, we distributed bike lights and safety information (in both Spanish and English) at the 'Fireflies' ride at Community Park South.
- In April, we distributed safety information at our booth at Princeton Communiversity (see photo above).
- In May, we gave out safety leaflets at the inaugural Princeton
CommuniversityCiclovia. Later in the month, we checked cycle helmets and assisted with skills training for kids with the Princeton police force at the 'Wheels Rodeo'.
- We are putting together a bike map using funds from the Princeton Transit Trust Fund, which will prominently feature safety information.
- We are working with the League of American Bicyclists to organize adult skills training.
In short, we are working hard to promote safe cycling in Princeton. Unfortunately, not every cyclist is a safe cyclist and let's be clear: cyclists must follow the rules of the road.
But picking out cyclists as being responsible for 'anarchy' on Princeton roads is hardly fair. First, many cyclists are entirely law-abiding. Many of us switch it up between driving cars and riding bikes, so we know how annoying it is when people cycle on the wrong side of the road, or without lights at night. Secondly, in June 2014, Princeton police responded to 85 instances of motor vehicle crashes or DUIs, but just one incident involving a cyclist. Enforcement is very important, but let's make sure that all road users are behaving safely, and not just pick on one group.
To find out more or comment about PBAC's education and outreach efforts, you can contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org