Alexandria, Louisiana— The City of Alexandria and Fit Families for Cenla, a local non-profit group created to educate and motivate families in Central Louisiana to lead healthier lifestyles, are teaming up to help educate cyclists and motorists on bicycle safety.
Since its inception, Fit Families has been involved in cycling and bringing healthy activities to the citizenry of Alexandria. The City, in order to promote a greener and healthier quality of life, steadily has been installing walking trails, bicycle trails, and bicycle lanes throughout the City as well.
“FFC is very excited to launch this safety campaign with the City of Alexandria. There is a strong need in the area for educating both cyclists and motorists on how to co-exist and SHARE the ROAD. We hope that this public service announcement starts a new trend of mutual respect for all modes of transportation, said Stacey McMickens of Fit Families for Cenla.
“I thank Mr. Bolen on our team and everyone at FFC for their commitment to community health,” Mayor Jacques M. Roy said. “Healthy communities are more resilient, thrive, and attract and retain citizens.”
The first installment in the safety campaign is a video developed as part of the campaign. It can be seen on the Mayor’s Office Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/cityofalexandria?fref=ts.
It’s important to promote bicycle safety as bike lanes and trails grow in popularity. While bicycle riders 45 to 54 years old have the highest fatality rate of 3.51 per million population, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Association, children are more likely to have emergency department visits due to bicycle-related injuries, In fact, in 2012 they were 39 percent of all transportation-related among 5- to 15-year-olds, according to the Centers for Disease Controls.
Bicycle education programs help adults and children stay safe while bicycle riding. Education programs also help teach cyclists how to ride safely in traffic, how to handle their bicycles, the importance of wearing safety gear, and even bicycle maintenance.
This particular safety program will also help teach drivers how to travel safely alongside bicycle riders.
While it is important to choose safe places to ride that are away from traffic (e.g., bicycle trails and paths, bicycle lanes), feasible alternatives are not always available. Thus, it is important that everyone learn how to ride in and near traffic as well.