Bike Summit Aims to Make Tulsa Roads Safer
It's no secret that there's a lot of tension between drivers and bicycle riders in this area.
There have been deaths and felony charges after collisions. So a lot of effort is being made to resolve that conflict.
The Oklahoma Bike Summit will be held this Friday and Saturday, at the Oklahoma Jazz Hall of Fame. It will to look for answers to some difficult questions in hopes that riders and drivers can coexist in the future.
Committee member, Joy Hancock, says a lot needs to be done to educate people and change attitudes. On a recent ride, her husband was deliberately run off the road by a driver who didn't want a bike on the highway.
But at the same time, she's quick to acknowledge that riders share the blame.
She says they could do a lot to ease the tensions ,by being courteous and obeying the rules of the road.
In her mind "Share the road" goes both ways.
It's clear that there will be more cars and bikes competing for space in the future, so a plan must be worked out to ease the conflict.
The big debate is over more trails or bike lanes, but many people support expanding both.
Bob McKenzie is a Tulsa rider who simply wants to be safe.
He worries about drivers who are drinking or texting.
But he likes being on the streets because even the trails are becoming more crowded and dangerous.
He had a bad collision with a walker who suddenly turned around without looking to see if anyone was coming.
McKenzie hopes that in time, riders and drivers will be at ease with each other.
"If we as riders do a better job of paying attention to the law, maybe they won't get as aggravated with us."
Hancock ads that in the end, more bikes on the streets could benefit everyone.
Studies show that the areas with more bikes have fewer accidents.
Apparently when there's more bike traffic, both riders and drivers pay more attention.
The summit starts at 8:00 am Friday and Sunday.