A new ordinance could mean safer roads for cyclists

Local News

Wichita Falls is known for hosting one of the oldest and largest bike rides in the country, the Hotter N’ Hell Hundred, however, cycling enthusiasts in the host city say they often do not feel safe riding on the streets.

“What we came up with is very similar to what you see now in the state laws as it applies to say emergency vehicles on the side of the road, law enforcement having someone pulled over,” Burrus said.

What Director of Transportation John Burrus is referring to is a Vulnerable Road User Ordinance. If a cyclist is in the right lane, vehicles must move over or slow down at least 20 miles per hour under the posted speed limit.

“The main thing was, either give the cyclists a cushion or slow down and safely get around them. So that’s what our determination was and I think our cycling community will like it,” Burrus said.

Becky Raeke is part of the cycling community hoping the ordinance will be passed.

“When you have that added barrier of safety, you know people getting over that really helps with people feeling comfortable out on the road,” Raeke said.

The city is also preparing to designate new bike lanes throughout the city, and the ordinance would mandate that when there is a marked bike lane, bicyclists are required to use it.

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