Trying To Increase Safety For Bicyclists

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Lansing has a small number of designated bike lanes and that means cyclists and drivers are often forced into each others way, that's a problem the Lansing City Council wants to change.

Sharing the road with speeding city traffic can be unsettling when you're on a bike. For Jasper Graham safety is one thing he knows all too well not to take for granted.

"I've been clipped, I've had a mirror to the elbow," Graham said.

Being hit by a passing car gave Graham a new perspective when it comes to riding on city streets.

"I try to get right over because I'm worried about if people are paying attention," Graham added.

With the nice weather more people are taking to the pedals, so drivers and bikers are having to share the road.

"Not going to lie I sometimes use the sidewalks," Graham shared. "You're not supposed to but sometimes I do that because it's safer than getting hit by a car."

Jessica Yorko of the Lansing City Council says the safest way for cyclists to travel is in designated bike lanes. There are about 15 miles of them in the city, including a two-mile stretch of buffered lanes that MDOT installed on Saginaw.

"The next safest place to ride is on the road with traffic however there are some roads that are so busy you can see why some might go ahead and opt to use the sidewalk," Yorko said.

The Lansing City Council says it costs up to $2,000 per mile, to add lines and signs to roads that already have enough room for bike lanes. That's much less than the $1 million it costs to rebuild a mile of road for cars.

"We definitely have made progress on adding bike lanes on more streets in Lansing but we still have a ways to go," Yorko said.

The city is aiming to add about five miles of bike lanes each year and already has plans to expand the river trail. These are all exciting prospects for bikers.

"I would go different places that's for sure, it would give me more options," Graham shared.

For some riders it would give them more peace of mind that they're safe.