Sherman sets bike safety goals - - No One Gets You Closer

Sherman sets bike safety goals

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SHERMAN, Texas -- Outside summertime activities can not only be hot... but dangerous. The Sherman City Council is working to change that.

On August 7, two new bike ordinances will be proposed. The first would establish a safe distance of three to six feet between a motor vehicle and a bicycle.

The second would require cyclists to have working brakes and lights on their two-wheelers at all times.

"Basically, it's to prevent drivers from bullying and bicyclists and pedestrians off the side of the road," explained Sholdon Daniels, founder of Bike Sherman and chairman of the Parks and Recreation Department advisory board. "So when you're overtaking a bicyclist, you have to have a minimum distance of about three feet between the very far right edge of your vehicle and the left handlebar of that bicyclist."

Traffic safety is an issue that hits close to home for Daniels.

"I actually had a relative who was a pedestrian on the side of the road who was struck and killed by a driver," he said.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said accidents involving bikes and motor vehicles accounted for 726 deaths in 2012.

City Council membere Shawn Teamann is taking this issue to heart as well; he teamed up with Daniels to help propose the new ordinances.

"All of these ordinances are part of a bigger picture to help create some awareness for bicyclists and pedestrians in our community," Teamann said.

He added that the city is also working on a longer-term project to create bicycle paths connecting the east and west sides of the city to the downtown district.

"To get them from their neighborhoods, to the ball fields, to downtown," Teamann said.

Daniels said this is a legacy he wants to leave with his future child and generations to come.

"I definitely want to make sure that when that baby grows up it's safe out there," he said.

Council members say after a forum they held earlier this year, bike safety was the number one thing citizens asked them to focus on. The city sees this as one step toward a much bigger effort in the near future.

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