Cyclist groups push road safety in light of recent pedestrian and cyclist-related accidents

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POSTED: Saturday, August 24, 2013 - 11:23pm

UPDATED: Sunday, August 25, 2013 - 6:16pm

Whether you're on your way to school or just cruising along for a fun ride, the cycling community in El Paso wants to make sure you get to your destination safely.

"When everybody understands the roads, they follow the rules and they appreciate the rules, and everybody else on the road, it makes out streets safer," said Scott White, with "Velo Pase Bicycle-Pedestrian Coalition."

"A lot of people don't understand the rights of bike riders, and some bike riders don't understand either, so I think it's important to inform the city," said cyclist, Salina Cobos. 

in light of recent car accidents involving local cyclists and pedestrians killed on El Paso roads, "Velo Paso Bicycle-Pedestrian Coalition" hosted a community meeting Saturday morning to look at ways to improve safety for bikers, pedestrians, and drivers, as well.

"These are all tragic accidents, we hate that they've happened, but what's worse is that we think they were avoidable," said White.

The latest tragedy happened Thursday night in Central El Paso, where a 9 year-old boy, Jose Cordova, was riding his bike on the sidewalk near Raynor and Jefferson street, when he crashed into an SUV trying to make a turn at the same time.

"The reality is people are getting hurt out there, people are dying out there," said White, "We want everybody to join together to help bring some consistency to these laws."

"Bike shops are flourishing, people are enjoying it and I can't tell you how many times I've had close calls with cars. I've put on a lot of miles but I've had many close calls," said cyclist, Bob Lynn. 

Dozens of cyclists flocked to the meeting at the Downtown public library - most of whom were members of the "El Paso Cyclists" bike club.

The organization's Vice President, Pedro Martinez said the group of almost 200 members is pursuing funding from the city or the state to hire licensed cycling instructors who can provide more public education when it comes to safety on the roads.

"We start from the beginners, people who have never been on a bike, we take them out on group rides, and teach them how to do the right signals, call out, shifting, braking," said Martinez.

For more information on how you can get involved with  "Velo Paso Bicycle-Pedestrian Coalition," visit http://www.velopaso.org/ 
 

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