Friday, April 28, 2023
May is National Bike Month
National Bike Month was established in 1956 by the League of American Bicyclists to showcase the benefits of bicycling and encourage more people to try it. There are more than a few opportunities to get involved, including:
- National Ride a Bike Day, May 7
- National Bike to Work Week, May 15-21
- Bike to Work Day, May 19
The league’s website
offers a plethora of information about National Bike Month and related events as well as all kinds of data about bicycling across the nation and at the state level.
New Jersey's new safe passing law
, enacted last year, requires drivers to move over four feet – an entire lane if possible – or slow down to at least 25 mph when passing vulnerable road users, like cyclists and pedestrians. Why? Crashes involving improver overtaking are the most common reason for bicyclist deaths, according to the League of American Bicyclists. There were 653 fatal crashes and 696 fatalities in 2022, according to the New Jersey State Police (NJSP). Among those 696 fatalities, 17 were pedalcyclists, accounting for 2.4 percent of the total.
There are opportunities to choose bicycling over cars, you may just have to look for them. And sometimes, you don’t need to look far. More than 45 percent of motor vehicle trips are 3 miles or less while the average bicycle trip is 2.4 miles, according to the 2017 National Household Travel Survey.
People in low-income, marginalized communities and communities of color often rely on walking and biking as their primary means of transportation, making safer bicycling critical to address transportation inequities, according to U.S. Census reports.
Fewer cars on the road can mean less congestion and lower emissions. Unlike an average motor vehicle weighing nearly 4,300 pounds with 252 horsepower and a carbon footprint of 51.4 square feet, a bicycle produces 0 carbon footprint.
Bicycle Safety Tips
- Cyclists should always follow the flow of traffic whereas pedestrians are to walk against traffic.
- Be aware of obstacles and look out for turning vehicles that may not see you.
- Let drivers and pedestrians know your moves, use hand signals when turning.
- If you ride a night, use a light. Not only is it safer, so others can see you, it’s the law in New Jersey.
- Bicyclists also are required to be equipped with a bell some audible device that can be heard from 100 feet away.