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Massachusetts town uses bicycle accident as motivation to change

There are some roads that were designed for cars only. However, with the increased popularity of commuting by bicycle, more and more Massachusetts citizens have been raising concerns over bicyclists' safety when riding on certain roads. In a recent hearing in Wellesley, a large number of people came together before the town to request that the town become friendlier to bicyclists so as to avoid an elevated risk of a bicycle accident transpiring.

The meeting first took on an informative tone as people were advised of where they could ride their bicycle in town. This included bikers being able to ride on sidewalks, as long as they gave way to passing pedestrians. It was also discussed what options were available on the roads to make drivers more aware of bicyclists.

Spurred by the tragic death of a community member the year prior, numerous individuals spoke before the town to argue for changes. Numerous suggestions were made during the meeting including forming an advisory group. The members also identified changes in certain roads that they felt should be implemented in other areas.

A bicycle accident can occur for many reasons. However, one of the major reasons for such an accident to occur is there simply not being enough room for Massachusetts' bikers and drivers to pass safely on the same road. This, however, does not free motorists from liability if they negligently strike a biker, as they are under an obligation to share the road with them in order to ensure that all individuals traveling on the road get to their final destination safely.

Source: The Swellesley Report, "Wellesley hearing draws impassioned pleas from cycling safety enthusiasts, Motsenigos family," March 19, 2013

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