OKLAHOMA CITY (KOKH) — Steve Schlegel said he would like to see Oklahoma City do a lot more to make the area more bicycle-friendly. The owner of Schlegel Bicycles in Automobile Alley said he thinks this is the way the city is going.
"It's a slow process with the bureaucracy and getting those dollars to actually producing the infrastructure," Schlegel said. "It's just making the realization that this needs to become a big part of it."
A report shows Oklahoma City is not doing well with biking safety. The League of American Bicyclists said from 2012 to 2016, there were 34.3 deaths per 10,000 people biking to work. That number leads all large cities in the United States.
"There certainly are efforts by MAPS3 and MAPS4 coming up," Schlegel said. "We are building more cycling and pedestrian infrastructure. But it's still not enough I think ultimately as you can see by the numbers."
Bicycles do have the same rights as any other vehicle on the streets in Oklahoma City. Oklahoma City police said drivers should treat them the same way.
"Bicycles are subject to the same laws as automobiles are when they're out on the roadways," Oklahoma City police Msgt. Gary Knight said. "Obviously you're going to have to stay in your lane of traffic. There are places, again, especially in the downtown area where there are bicycle lanes."
Schlegel said others on the road need to recognize bicycles are becoming more popular.
"I don't think the general public has quite caught up to us yet," Schlegel said. "I think motorists aren't really familiar with how to interact with cyclists."
Schlegel said there are other benefits of making Oklahoma City a more bike-friendly city. Those are cutting down on car emissions, saving money on gas, better health and even lower health insurance.