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Phoenix one of the deadliest cities in the nation for bicyclists

Posted: 5:23 PM, Jul 16, 2019
Updated: 2019-07-16 22:43:56-04
Bicyclists

PHOENIX — Cyclists are begging that you see them and save their lives.

Across the nation, a new study has found more and more riders are being hit and killed.

The number is rising and Phoenix ranks in the top 10 of the list of most dangerous cities in the United States, according to Business Insider.

The study looked at three different factors to determine which city ranked where. The first was population. Next is the number of traffic fatalities within the city. Then, they factored in the percentage of those traffic fatalities that involved cyclists.

Nickolas Lyneis can think of three reasons himself why something needs to change in Phoenix.

"I have been hit three times out of the 10 years I've been here," Lyneis said.

But, there have been even more close calls. Lyneis believes drivers are forgetting the fundamentals.

"Basically what we were taught when we were little kids... Check both ways as you're coming up to a stop sign or you're ready to cross a road," Lyneis explained.

That new study ranked Phoenix 8th in the nation as one of the most dangerous places for two-wheeled transportation.

These numbers are from 2017 and it showed there were nearly 250 traffic fatalities with nearly 6% of those traffic fatalities involving cyclists.

"Honestly, it doesn't surprise me," Lyneis said.

ABC15 went to the city of Phoenix asking what they are doing to try and back pedal off of this list.

The Street Transportation Department said there are things they are working on right now.

"One of the big initiatives right under Transportation 2050 is the Accelerated Pavement Maintenance Program that was approved by city council," Ashley Patton described. "And with that program we are paving three times the streets that we normally would. So, with that a freshly paved street is a blank slate. So, that's a great opportunity for us to add bike lanes."

The city plans on adding 1,080 bike lanes by 2050, which is about 30 - 35 bike miles per year.

They have also been looking to other cities to see what is working there. Patton said they have found that buffered bike lanes and adding green paint has and can continue to make a difference.

"It catches the drivers eyes and they can see that we're sharing the road with bicyclists," Patton said.

To Lyneis, anything to alert those behind the wheel will make him feel safer behind the handle bars.

"It gives us as cyclists a lot more variety of where we could ride and it opens up more opportunities of people actually noticing other cyclists out there and saying, 'Okay hey... there's a lot more bicyclists out on there. We need to pay attention to what we're doing driving,'" Lyneis said.

City officials said bicyclists can keep them informed on any kind of safety concerns they have by emailing: bike@phoenix.gov.

If you have a road issue you want ABC15 to look into, you can contact Operation Safe Road by calling (833) AZROADS or by emailing roads@abc15.com.