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E-M:/ "Survival Ride" for Christina Riddle

Enviro-Mich message from Nolan Bennett <elansingcwa@cleanwater.org>


Typically I post to enviro-mich as the Program Coordinator for Clean
Water Action, but today I am writing to you as a board member of the
League of Michigan Bicyclists and a commuting cyclist.

Last Saturday, Christina Riddle was hit while commuting on her bicycle
to the League of Michigan Bicyclists office and a function at my house.
She was on Mount Hope east of Hagadorn heading west bound when she was
struck by a car at 45 m.p.h. She is currently at Sparrow Hospital with a
few fractured vertebras, a cracked hip, a torn hamstring, and lots of
road rash.

For those of you who do not know Christina, she is the Region 6 Director
for the League of Michigan Bicyclists (she represents zip codes 488 and
489). She has been a major advocate for better non-motorized
transportation in the Tri-County area. Over the past two years, she has
requested numerous times that the Meridian Township Board create a
Bicycle-Non-motorized (Pedestrian, Disability) Advisory Committee.
Although she is a Meridian Township resident, she has never received a
reply from the township. Just last week, she spoke at an East Lansing
Transportation Committee meeting and, thankfully, the committee
requested information on creating a Non-motorized Advisory Committee.

I have appreciated many of the posts to enviro-mich about sprawl and
land use issues. Policies which encourage livable communities and reduce
urban sprawl almost always provide transportation alternatives for
cyclists and pedestrians. League of Michigan Bicyclist Executive
Director Lucinda Means and many League of Michigan Bicyclist board
members have weighed in on the sprawl debate and have advocated for
improved community planning which accommodates cycling.

While I may be preaching to the converted, I would ask everyone to
remember that commuting cyclists are an important part of any livable
community and have equal rights to the road. The woman who hit Chris
Riddle was given a minor citation (an $80 ticket), but in many cases
motorists are not charged at all for acts against cyclists. Even if
cyclists are not run down, we endure verbal threats, close-high speed
passes, flying bottles and other aggressions while riding.

To re-enforce the that cyclists have the same rights to the roads as
motorists, area cyclists are organizing the “Survival Ride” to highlight
Chris’s assault and cycling rights. We are proposing a very
non-confrontational, single-lane ride to increase visibility for bikes,
and let the motorcar driving public know what happened and that
bicyclists are traffic too.

Date:  Friday, August 27
Time: 5:30 PM
Meeting Location: Albert and M.A.C. in East Lansing

M.A.C. to Grand River
Grand River to Okemos
Okemos to Mount Hope
Mount Hope to Aurelius (pass where Chris was hit)
Aurelius to Kalamazoo
Kalamazoo to Clippert
Clippert to Michigan
Michigan back to East Lansing

I hope to see you all on Friday (wearing helmets and in positive
spirits). For more information,
feel free to call me at 517-337-4447 (Clean Water Action) or
517-887-5963 (home).

Nolan Bennett
At-Large Director
League of Michigan Bicyclists
4827 Richmond
Lansing, MI 48911

Nolan Bennett
Program Director
Clean Water Action and Clean Water Fund
4990 Northwind Drive, Suite 210
East Lansing, MI 48823
Phone: (517) 337-4447
Fax: (517) 337-2833
email: elansingcwa@cleanwater.org

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