Better Biking

County Executive Showcases Safety Tips For Local Bicyclists

Pictured from left are: Shelly Wells of the Chautauqua County Department of Health and Human Services; County Executive Vince Horrigan; manager of Jamestown Cycle Shop Mike Donner; Members of Women on Wheels Lisa Schmidtfrerick-Miller and Linnea Carlson; Jamestown Mayor Sam Teresi; and Capt. Robert Samuelson of the Jamestown Police Department.

Chautauqua County Executive Vince Horrigan appeared at Jamestown Cycle Shop on Friday to promote bicycle safety tips.

“Across Chautauqua County, bicycling is become more and more popular and it is important that drivers share the road with cyclists and slow down, especially in heavy traffic areas where cyclists may not be as visible,” Horrigan said.

This movement is a part of Horrigan’s 100 Days of Summer Safety Campaign. The campaign was announced back in May with a goal to try and encourage people be more aware and safe during the months from Memorial Day to Labor Day. Horrigan said he will continue to partner with various executives and agencies to promote safety.

Also in attendance Friday was Jamestown Mayor Sam Teresi.

“As part of our Complete Streets and Greater Jamestown River Walk initiatives, we are anticipating and hoping for a significant increase in bicycle traffic throughout the City. Keeping people safe as they cycle and interact with cyclists is a top priority,” Teresi said. “The 100 Days of Summer effort is a welcomed and important way to call to attention the importance of utilizing the proper safety equipment and knowing the rules of the road when travelling throughout New York’s great Pearl City.”

Tips for bicyclists ranged from what type of attire to wear to drivers being more cautious when driving. Safety tips included keeping one hand on the handle bar at all times to maintain control of your bike. Another tip was to simply remain visible. Horrigan and company encouraged bicyclists to wear reflective and vibrant clothing in order to stand out in the dark. Also, he suggested using a white front light and a red rear light during inclement weather.

“By making safety a top priority this summer, residents can help do their part in preventing tragedies such as automobile, motorcycle, bicycle or boating accidents,” Horrigan said.

Communities such as Jamestown, Fredonia, Dunkirk, Lakewood and Cassadaga have policies that include all traffic when it comes to safety. These policies are named Complete Street Policies or Ordinances. Within these policies there is consideration for the following: bicyclists, pedestrians, motorists, transit users and people with disabilities.

“Local bikes shops provide cyclists with the gear and maintenance needed to get out there and have a fun and safe cycling experience,” said Jamestown Cycle Shop manager Mike Donner. “Whether it is picking out a helmet, lights, or other gear, or making sure your bike is safe to ride, our staff at the Jamestown Cycle Shop are always here to help.”

Another aspect of bicycling was wearing a helmet. According to the law, individuals, bicyclists and passengers, thirteen and under are required to wear a helmet. While anyone older isn’t required to wear a helmet, it was still recommended.

“Residents are encouraged to make it their mission to be responsible, be aware of their surroundings, address safety issues and educate others on practicing safety,” Horrigan said. “By stressing safety during these summer months, it is my hope that residents will get into the habit of making safety their number one priority and continue to practice safety all year long.”