Story and Photos by Ezra Van Den Einde
With higher temperatures around the corner and road construction heating up it may be time for locals to warm up to bicyclists.
Fueled in part by the growing presence NDSU has in downtown Fargo, an effort is being made to add bike lanes to 10th and University, both are one ways in north Fargo.
The discussion has been heated at times and one city commissioner is strongly opposed to the idea. “Those are our only north south arterials through the whole city, to me, to try to shove something on there, that’s just incredibly wrong.” Dave Piepkorn said during a recent Fargo city commission meeting. Piepkorn says the negative feedback he has received exceeds that of any other issue.
The city plans to run a series of public service announcements to better educate and prepare the public for bicyclists.
One downtown business owner whose life revolves around these controversial spinning wheels has ideas that may ease the publics concerns. Tom Smith, owner of Great Northern Bicycle Company in downtown Fargo, thinks the negative response is “a bit of a knee jerk reaction” and that the concerns have to do with dangers and the amount of daily traffic on 10th and University.
In order to make biking safer and decrease the publics’ discomfort of sharing the roadways with bicycles, Smith says it’s necessary for bicyclists to follow all traffic laws. He says being consistant, predictable and following traffic laws will help cyclists become an accepted part of city traffic.
Below is a link to a safety education video for drivers and bicyclists created by the League of Illinois Bicyclists.