Signs could help with bicycle safety

 There are few areas in West Point that are bicycle friendly. The Kitty Bryan Dill Memorial Walkway was once hospitable to bicyclists, but due to an altercation between a walker and a bicycle rider, it no longer allows bicycles.
Staff Writer

John Lloyd can often be seen riding his bike around West Point. He was an avid cyclist while living in Evanston, Illinois, and upon moving to West Point, Lloyd had planned to continue using his favorite means of transportation.

"I was struck by a car April 21," Lloyd said. "I was riding on the right side of the road, I was obeying all the traffic laws. But I was still struck at an intersection. I had a concussion due to the accident. I really think a few signs reminding drivers they are sharing the road with others might help."
Lloyd thinks a large part of the problem is distracted drivers who using their electronic devices and not paying attention to what is going on around them.

"I would love for there to be some bike paths in this area," Lloyd said. "Starkville is a very bike friendly town, as most places that have colleges usually are. There are about four of us senior citizens who like to ride our bikes to get from one place to another and get some exercise, as well."

Lloyd said a little consideration, respect and awareness of those on bicycles would go a long way toward keeping everyone on the road safe. He also mentioned reminding motorists of the law to give cyclists three feet of space between them and a vehicle.

At this time, the only street with a bicycle lane is Eshman Avenue, for those traveling north and south. But there is no lanes specifically for a bicycle when traveling east and west.

Originally the Kitty Bryan Dill Memorial Walkway was one of the first members of the nationwide Rails to Trails Conservancy. According to the Trail Link website, the walkway is open to walkers, runners and cyclists. To allow cyclists to use the 3.75 walkway, would only require the removal of a few signs.
Bubba Wilkerson has been overseeing the Kitty Dill Memorial Walkway for the city for almost five years.

"Since I've been doing it, we haven't had any problems with bikes," Wilkerson said. "We have bicyclists who use the walkway and they and the walkers don't have any problems."

As with most things, sharing the road or the walkway with people on bicycles is safe for everyone as long as people are alert and respectful of others around them.