Tulsa Group Wants Safer Streets For Bicyclists, Pedestrians

Tuesday, December 4th 2012, 4:32 pm

By: Dee Duren

A transportation committee spokesman says the recent rise in bicycle and pedestrian fatalities means the city needs to focus on safety for all users of Tulsa streets. The Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Committee will present its recommendations to the Tulsa City Council on Thursday.

"These recommendations focus on safety, first and foremost," said Stephen Lassiter, BPAC chair. "Our committee wants to ensure city leaders, planners and engineers are considering cyclists and pedestrians in every roadway design."

State law requires cars to leave a 3-foot passing distance when overtaking a cyclist - while a local ordinance only requires a "safe" distance. The committee wants the Tulsa law to align with state requirements.

The committee also recommends adding more on-street bikeways, bike lanes and bicycle parking to Tulsa.

11/9/2012 Related Story: Family Mourns Death Of Tulsa Bicyclist In Possible Hit And Run

Safer streets could pay off with healthier Tulsans, one committee member notes.

"The public health community recognizes the importance of how our built environment impacts our travel choices," said Dr. Bruce Dart, Director of the Tulsa Health Department and BPAC member.

"The more people have the opportunity to walk and bike, the healthier our community will be. Our goal is to make the healthy choice the easy choice."

INCOG will begin work next year on a regional Bicycle/Pedestrian Master plan to help determine which streets need to be prioritized for safety improvements.

Other recommendations:

  • Improve Tulsa's status as a Bicycle Friendly and Walk Friendly community designation by 2017.
  • Reduce preventable pedestrian and bicycle fatality rates by 50 percent by 2017.
  • Triple Tulsa's bicycle commuting rate and achieve 3 percent walk commuting rate by 2017.
  • Target 7 percent of the city's transportation capital funding for bicycle and pedestrian transportation.
  • Educate the public, law enforcement and elementary school students on bicycle and pedestrian laws and safety.



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