Linn supervisors hear opinions on cycling and county roads

Linn County supervisors heard from several cyclists this morning about ways to improve safety for cyclists on county roads. Some of that information was noted in this live blog by Adam Belz of the Cedar Rapids Gazette. (John Wauer was incorrectly identified by a live blog guest at one point as Dr. John Wollner.)  I’ll link to the Gazette’s follow-up story later if there  is one.

Short version of what went on: Supervisors seem willing to have private citizens pay for 10 or so signs. Linda Langston will be asking cyclists for input on where they should go. Supervisors long-term will consider wider shoulders on county roads to accommodate cycling.

I’ll add more later, and please comment as you see fit.

For the record, here’s what I said following Lisa Paulos’s opening remarks about HBA’s willingness to pay for some “Share the Road” signs:

I’m here as a Linn County taxpayer who spends a lot of time on a bicycle.

Sometimes I choose to ride on county roads to get to my destination. By taking a bicycle instead of a car, I save some money and get some exercise. I often spend that money on breakfast or lunch in another Linn County community.

All too often, other road users endanger my life, and the lives of others who are traveling with me, by passing dangerously close. Some seem to be ignorant of their responsibility as motor vehicle operators. Others don’t seem to care. Some do it deliberately to intimidate or run cyclists off the road.

In all of those cases, motorists need to be educated about their responsibilities and about the rights of other citizens who share the road.

This needs to happen before more people are seriously injured or killed by careless drivers.

Just as we have signs that identify no-passing zones and speed limits, and that convey other traffic-safety information, we need signage that reminds people that they are required to share the roads with others.

I urge you as our elected county officials to budget for, install and maintain “Share the Road” signs as you do other traffic signs – as a matter of public policy and public safety.

Individual cyclists and cycling groups have no obligation to raise funds to pay for public infrastructure like traffic signs. Still, the Hawkeye Bicycle Association has generously offered to pay for some of Linn County’s traffic signs by matching individual donations.

I encourage you to accept that offer, to budget additional funds for signs, installation and maintenance, and begin adding “Share the Road” signs to improve safety for motorists and cyclists alike.

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