Lewes Urging Cyclists to be Courteous - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Lewes Urging Cyclists to be Courteous

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LEWES, Del.- The city of Lewes' new trails are bringing more bicyclists to town, but not necessarily experienced ones.

"Because of the confluence of the three trails right here, we are kind of a nexus for bikes to come here with that comes a lot of opportunity for misinformation," says Mayor Ted Becker. "People who may not have been used to riding a bicycle, what the rules of the road are so that's our big concern: getting the word out as to what the proper etiquette and whats the proper way to use the trail." 

The trail's crossings over roadways like Donovans Road and Old Orchard Road are a big concern for neighbors, who say cyclists are running through the posted stop signs.

"We are constantly hearing people slam on the brakes, hit horns and all that because they are having to stop for the bikes," says Mark Huling. "They want to have the same rights as cars, but they don't want to abide by the same rules. It's only the handful, it's not all of them."

Lewes Bicycle and Pedestrian Committee Chairperson Don Long says as more visitors come to town, reminding them of Delaware bicycle laws is even more important, especially after a woman was cited for turning into traffic over the weekend.  Long says an updated bike friendly map are available at city hall and bike racks throughout town, as well as Delaware bicycle, pedestrian, and motorist laws. 

"Folks are getting back on the bike and it's been 30-40 years since they've been on a bike so they are remembering rules--old rules--which is riding against traffic which was permitted back then," he says. "They are also a little wobbly. They don't have those bicycle legs like they used to."

Long also says cyclists can get distracted by the scenery, though distracted drivers are another big concern at crossings, as is the speed limit.

"We are aware that some of these trails make road crossings and they are areas where the speed limit is not safe for a cyclist or a pedestrian if they were to be struck," he says. "Some of the areas I think we need to talk about reducing the speed limit at the crossings and have better signage."

Lewes Police Chief Thomas Spell says cyclists on roadways are subject to the same laws that cars are. Cyclist Dave Wolf thinks determining the right of way at the the trail and roadway intersections will take a bit of time.

"It's going to be a learning process and hopefully a safe learning process," he says." 

For a complete list of bicycle rules, visit the DMV's website. For group cycling safety, visit the Sussex Cyclists' website.

 

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