3 Ways We’re Advocating to Make Roads Safer for Bike Travel

Feb 10th, 2020

Gary was bicycle touring on a rural state highway with a rumble strip installed down the middle of the shoulder. When motorists approached from opposite directions, Gary was forced to choose: ride on a one-foot strip of pavement to the right of the rumble strip or ride on the white line? Neither driver seemed to see him, so he held on tight and rode over the rumble strip, which shook him and his loaded bike into the ditch. 

Stories like Gary’s shouldn’t happen. Cyclists are legal road users and we should be able to bike without fearing for our safety every time a car approaches. However, cyclist fatalities are on the rise while motorist fatalities are decreasing. So what are we doing about it? 

Adventure Cycling launched a Safety Program in 2018 and hired a full time safety coordinator. We now have goals and strategies for the new program, and with more staff capacity we’re working on issues like rumble strips, safe passing, and distracted driving in ways we couldn’t before.

With new webpages highlighting our Safety Program, we can now share our progress and calls to action with you! 

How will our safety work impact you?

Here’s three strategies we’re using to tackle bike travel safety:

1.  We’ll work with agencies and advocates to make existing rumble strip policies and designs safer for bicyclists. 

  • Check out our new state ranking that evaluates how each state rumble strip guidance measures up to bicycle safety design standards. 
  • Download our new rumble strip best practices resource, Solutions for Making Rumble Strips Safer for Cyclists. We’ll use this tool to advocate departments of transportation for better designs and policies. 

2.  We’ll work with you and bicycle advocates across the U.S. to pass more laws and policies that improve conditions for cycling.

  • Complete Streets that provide space for the most vulnerable people using streets and roads.
  • Safe Passing Laws that require drivers to give cyclists at least 3 feet of space when they pass. 
  • Distracted driving legislation that includes “hands free device” language.
  • Transportation and park plans that affect cycling conditions or services.

3.  We’ll also analyze road conditions along our bike routes and work with transportation officials to improve high risk corridors. 

  • Learn more about our partnership work with the Kansas Department of Transportation, which resulted in new U.S. Bike Route signs and bike friendly additions to their Strategic Highway Safety Plan.
The ideal bike travel experience: big views and wide shoulders
The ideal bike travel experience: big views and wide shoulders 
George Verch

The Road Ahead

Here’s how you can help: 

  • If you know of bicycle safety legislation or policies being proposed in your state, please contact us at advocacy@adventurecycling.org.  
  • Take Action and make your voice count for better bike travel.
  • Donate today to help us push for safer roads across the U.S. so cyclists don’t have to make risky decisions like Gary did!