New million-dollar bike plan may lead to more bike accidents

It's official. On Wednesday, April 30, the Cincinnati City Council adopted Mayor John Cranley's $1.9 million bike plan by a 7-2 vote. The ordinance is designed to fund five major bike projects which hope to be up and running by this August. The lion's share of the funding will go toward establishing the Cincy Bike Share program, which is earmarked to receive $1.1 million. The remaining funds will then be divided up into four separate bike trails costing $200,000 each. The Mayor heralded the vote saying that it was a great day for bicyclists. He also claimed that the bike program would increase the quality of life for Cincinnati residents.

The Cincy Bike Share is a nonprofit which will oversee the rental of 300 bicycles spread out across the downtown, Over-the-Rhine, and Uptown in 35 stations. The majority of the funding for the trails will go toward developing a design and planning the implementation of the project. For example, one trail will run from Downtown to the Airport, another will go from Xavier University to another bike trail in Newton, Ohio.

Bike riding is an excellent way to get some exercise while also reducing congestion on city roads, particularly downtown. That said, there are some real dangers which accompany bike riding and the public should be mindful of them. Perhaps the best piece of advice is to always wear a helmet. Brain injuries are quite frequent during falls from bikes. Also, remember to wear bright clothing and make yourself conspicuous with lights or reflective gear at night.

Despite every precaution, there is always a chance that bike riders will get involved in an accident with a motor vehicle. If you experience such an event be sure to seek medical care immediately. Many times you may feel all right after a bike accident while a relatively minor injury gradually becomes more serious over time. You should also take steps to ensure your legal right to assert your claim for compensation. You may be entitled to recover medical costs and lost wages if you are hit by a car while riding a bike.

Source: WLWT-5 Cincinnati, "City council approves Mayor Cranley's bike plan Wednesday" Ben Petracco, Apr. 30, 2014

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