By Nicole Van Baelen
“You don’t change the world by simply looking at it; You change it through the way you choose to live in it!”
In recent weeks, the death and serious injury of two bicyclists have left the Mooresville and Davidson area communities feeling shocked and helpless. A small group of us decided to take action. We talked about efforts going on at the state level but believed it was important to make changes locally. As a Bike Law Ambassador and friend of Bike Law NC’s Ann Groninger, I felt compelled.
On Tuesday January 28, a group of about ten cyclists participated in the Davidson Town Council meeting. Laura Calvin, John Finney, Greg Scoggins and I spoke on behalf of the bicycling community. We talked about our “Ride for Earl” on January 25 where more than 300 cyclists turned up to honor our friend Earl, who was killed on January 12. We lost an amazing friend and his family lost a husband, dad, granddad. 29% of collisions in rural areas involving a car driver and bicyclist happen when the car driver tries to overtake the cyclist. This is what happened to Earl.
County roads and beautiful landscapes make the Mooresville and Davidson areas ideal for bicycling. But we need to see safety concerns, such as infrastructure and law enforcement, being addressed in order to avoid these tragic crashes. In the council meeting, we asked for safer roads for all road users (car drivers, motorcyclists, cyclists, pedestrians, kids on bikes, moms with strollers and many others). We gave examples of where we felt unsafe as road users and several bicyclists told their stories of having been hit by car drivers. Our message was delivered loud and clear and we felt that the Davidson Town Council heard our voices and acknowledged our concerns. Additional meetings will follow with the town representatives and law enforcement in our area and we are very optimistic that these meetings will result in specific actions and improvements.
Together we can make a difference! Only when all road users come together can we make our roads safer for all of us. We will keep you posted on our next chapter.
Ride proud! Ride safe!
North Carolina lawyer and Bike Law founder, Ann Groninger, has advocated at the state level on behalf of bicyclists in North Carolina for over 15 years. Ann has offices in Charlotte and Durham and has helped bike accident clients in Asheville, Raleigh, Durham, Greenville, Wilmington, Fayetteville, and throughout the state. Read more about Ann on her bio page.