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Efforts to Improve Bike Safety in Lake Norman

By Nicole Van Baelen

If you recall from my last blog post, a small group of bicyclists in the Lake Norman area was spurred by the tragic death of on of our own to take action. We started out with a lot of ideas and energy that needed channeling. Just a little more than a month after our first meeting, we’ve made some great progress. I will continue to share our accomplishments in hopes of inspiring other groups around the state to take action. 

On Tuesday February 25 we participated again in the Davidson Town Council meeting.  Laura Calvin, John Finney, Scott Higgins, Greg Scoggins and I addressed the Council. Understanding that changing the world takes time, we requested short and term long actions. Again, we were encouraged to see that the Council members were very receptive to the information we provided and to our requests. 

For example, in the short term, we asked for adding additional signage and changing the current signs “Share The Road” to signs saying “Cyclist May Take Full ane.” Our town is already looking into these initiatives, we proposed a working session to collaborate, discuss and identify the best locations and the Council members welcomed our constructive and collaborative approach.  We also addressed the debris that often can be found on our bike paths and road sides which makes it often more dangerous for us to ride on those and are hopeful actions will be taken to get those cleaned on a regular basis. 

For the longer term, we discussed the addition of bike lanes on our most travelled roads, which we hope will encourage more people in the area to ride a bicycle, while improving safety for those who already ride.

The town of Davidson is well known as a destination town for outdoor activities such as walking, running and cycling. Cyclists provide a positive economic impact to our town and we certainly would like to continue doing so.  Families feel safe allowing their kids to ride to school. Parents feel safe riding into town from River Run. Cyclists feel safe riding into and out of town. Our goal is to maintain this “Cycling Friendly” status. We are very excited that we will have the opportunity to work closely with our Davidson Town Council in the coming months to start collaborating on our short and long term ideas and that our neighboring towns (Cornelius and Mooresville) are working towards the same partnership efforts. 

I am also able to share, today, that I have been appointed as a Board member of BikeWalkNC. I hope that my presence on the Board will help to connect our local bicycling advocacy groups around the state and make changes at the state level. Together we can make a difference! 

Ride proud! Ride safe!

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