DOT Identifies Safety Needs for Bikers, Pedestrians

May 16, 2011

The state Department of Transportation has released a survey that identifies a need for improving bicycle and pedestrian safety. Nearly three quarters of respondents said they don't feel safe biking through their communities on a daily basis. That number was about 50 percent for pedestrians. The survey identified a lack of bicycle lanes and sidewalks as the top safety issue. But DOT spokeswoman Julia Merchant says there also needs to be a mutual respect among drivers, bicyclists and pedestrians.

Julia Merchant: "Because they really share a lot of the same space a lot of the time, there is a real need not only for facilities but for education. I think that really is kind of the basis for a lot of the problems that we see is a lack of education or following the rules of the road."

More than 16,000 North Carolinians responded to the survey. State officials will use it to draft a list of transportation needs for the next three decades.