Letter to the editor: Too little, too late, but time to take bike safety more seriously | Letters

I join so many others in Flagstaff who are deeply dismayed by the tragic accident at Butler and Beaver on May 28, when a tow truck rammed into a group of cyclists, killing Joanna “Jo” Wheaton and four others Hospital sent serious injuries. As a longtime cyclist and cycling advocate in Flagstaff, I have worked for many years with others who share my passion for cycling to help the city of Flagstaff develop and do whatever it takes to make Flagstaff a safer place to be making commuting and cycling relaxing. Unfortunately, so many of our ideas and requests for changes have been ignored. Flagstaff has a bicycle commission that meets monthly with city staff, but as is often the case, the lack of money means the changes have been negligible

Flagstaff voters last approved the city’s 21-year traffic sales tax, Proposition 419, in November 2018, the proceeds of which are for road, pedestrian, bicycle and safety improvements. Unfortunately, less than 10% of the money raised is used to develop safer bike paths. Meanwhile, city officials have allocated $ 200,000 to purchase private property to build a parking lot for access to Forest Service land, which should be the responsibility of the Forest Service, not Flagstaff taxpayers. This money could be used much better for marking cycle paths, an urgent need. The June 2019 report “City of Flagstaff Active Transportation / FUTS Masterplans – Pedestrian and Bicycle Crash” contains sobering data on the safety of cycling in Flagstaff. Unsurprisingly, from 2009 to 2018, 65% of bicycle accidents occurred in the heart of Flagstaff, and that the intersection of Butler and San Francisco had the second highest number of accidents.

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