For Immediate Release
March Crash Report Card
The March 2010 Crash Report Card from the Public Works Department shows there have been five fatality crashes from January 1 to March 31 of this year, compared to two in the same time period in 2009. The number of injury crashes increased by 4 percent and the number of total crashes is slightly down, respectively, compared to the same time period last year.
April Safety Message
May is National Bike Month, and Springfield’s “Bike, Bus, Walk Week” is Monday, May 17 through Friday, May 21. We encourage Springfield residents to leave their automobiles at home and walk, bicycle, carpool or ride the bus. During that week, City Utilities buses are free to those traveling with bikes, some fitness centers are offering showers and towels for participants, and a free breakfast is available for bicycle riders. Further, employees and schools are encouraged to register for the annual “Commuting Challenge” sponsored by Ozark Greenways. The goal is to promote personal health and a bike/pedestrian friendly community.
The City of Springfield and Ozark Greenways are continuously working to expand the network of bike routes and trails throughout Springfield and Greene County, which have already demonstrated a great potential to reduce the number of motor vehicles using the roadways and improve the overall quality of life for those who use this resource. Springfield Traffic Engineering is working on improving roadways for bicycle suitability. Currently, there are 60 miles of designated on-street bike routes. These streets typically carry lower traffic volumes and have lower speeds than parallel major thoroughfares, and are safer for bicyclists than streets with heavy vehicular traffic.
The key to a safe bike commute is the mutual respect between biker and motorist.
- Bicyclists fare best when they act as, and are treated as, drivers of motor vehicles. It is vital that bicyclists obey the same traffic rules and blend in with overall traffic so that motorists on the street know what to expect. Bicyclists should never assume the right-of-way and should always signal their intentions to motorists. Bicyclists should ride on the right side of the street parallel to, and in the same direction as, other vehicular traffic. Bicycles should be equipped with a headlight and a tail light and/or reflectors for operation after dark. Bicyclists are strongly encouraged to use proper safety helmets and wear bright clothing. Good visibility of the bicycle and rider is essential for motorists to see the bicyclist on the roadway.
- Motorists must learn to respect the bicyclist as any other vehicle on the street. Approach with caution and pass with care, giving adequate space for the bicyclists to handle their vehicles. This behavior shows respect for other road users and alerts other motorists on the street to do the same. Motorists must check for bicyclists and pedestrians when making right and left turns at intersections and entering and exiting from driveways.
Motorists and bicyclists are encouraged to become familiar with facilities and programs for alternative transportation available in Springfield, including the Bike and Ride availability on CU buses. Riding your bike is one of many ways to improve your personal health and the overall quality of life in our community.
For more information on the “Bike, Bus, Walk Week” go to www.ozarkgreenways.org
For Springfield’s Bike Route map go to: www.springfieldmo.gov/traffic
For information transit services and more go to: www.cityutilities.net/transit/transit.htm
For bike route maps and other information go to: www.ozarkgreenways.org/bike-to-work/index.php