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Cyclists jeopardize their lives and those of others???

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  • eric.britton@ecoplan.org
    Hi, Here s a mail from Mexican bicycle group Bicitekas. Can we have a few minutes of your precious time ? El Siglo de Torreon, a local Mexican newspaper, has
    Message 1 of 1 , May 11, 2001
      Hi,

      Here's a mail from Mexican bicycle group Bicitekas.
      Can we have a few minutes of your precious time ?

      El Siglo de Torreon, a local Mexican newspaper, has recently published two
      articles to remove cyclists off the streets in Torreon, a northern city.
      As Bicitekas, the Mexican bicycle advocacy group, we would like to ask for
      your support to send your concerns to the editor of the newspaper.

      Hopefully, with the help of international pressure, we can change the minds
      of local decision makers.


      You can find the second article still on the internet
      (http://www.elsiglodetorreon.com.mx/ediciones/2001/04/28/27reg76.htm)

      CHECK THIS OUT:

      Cyclists jeopardize their lives and those of others.

      April 28, 2001.

      Torreón, Coah.- Cyclists and motorcycle riders that ride through the streeds
      of Torreón pose a threat to car drivers since they do not respect any
      circulation lane and ocasionnaly even invade areas known as high-speed
      lanes.
      Workers, who ride these types of light vehicles, regularly use lanes and
      avenues for their comfort, since they are wider than others. Yet, they
      seldom take in account that that is precisely where cars and buses circulate
      at a high speeds.
      Shop owners who have their stores on Independencia boulevard have repeatedly
      called El Siglo de Torreón, asking for a police operation to regulate
      bicycle and motorcycle traffic. They say the number of these vehicles is
      excessive and they do not have lights, making them a real danger when
      circulating at night.
      This problem was addressed on various occasions during the past county
      administration, and the police attempted to remove cyclists from areas where
      there are not allowed to ride. Nevertheless, during the current
      administration nothing has been done and cyclists and motorcyclists continue
      to invade the streets and avenues where they even use the sidewalks.
      (transl. Naomi Adelson)

      ----------------------------------------------------------------------------
      ----
      Cyclists invade the Torreon streets with total impunity,
      (They are involved in 15 accidents per month and 4 cyclists have died so far
      this year)

      April 26, 2001.

      The cyclists that permanently put in jeopardy their lives by circulating
      through the city's thoroughfares and avenues, are not being fined for
      disregarding police regulations.
      In fact, the county sheriff register does not show one example of a cyclist
      being fined for infringing the traffic code. The register also reveals that
      every month some 15 accidents occur between cyclists and cars: This year 4
      cyclists died.
      Jesus Jasso Frayre, the traffic police chief, said 'that there are few
      obligatory regulations for cyclists in the state traffic code' - a code
      which he says 'needs to be reformed in order to catch up with the city's
      urban development.'

      According to Chapter V of the state traffic code, cyclistst are to ride in a
      certain manner and use accessories like rear lights and a helmet. Jasso
      Frayre said that before applying any sanctions, 'the police has to study
      each case in detail to foresee all possible variables
      that might occur', given that 'those who infringe the law should have their
      vehicles confiscated, but in most cases the bicycle is their only means of
      transport from home to work and this sanction would prejudice their family
      income. '

      Police chief Jasso also said that 'traffic police officers are instructed to
      tell cyclists to avoid the main streets like Colón, Juambelz, Revolución,
      Independencia, Constitución, presidente Carranza, Hidalgo, Juarez.
      Nevertheless they only issue verbal warnings.'

      Construction of bicycling lanes

      Another chapter of the Traffic Code mentions that bike lanes will be built.
      That however, has never ocurred and, according to the police chief,
      'building bike lanes is an absurd idea' since 'the lanes should have been
      planned and constructed before the city underwent accelerated growth.' Chief
      Jasso Frayre added he does not know of any city project that would
      facilitate the use of bicyles.

      Bicycles in the city

      Gabriel Sánchez Bautista, manager of Goray Bicycles headquarters, says they
      sell between 600 and a 1000 bicycles a month to 14 different bicycle stores
      in town. Nevertheless these are only relative figures on the amount of
      bicycles in the city, since many bicycles are sold on credit in furniture
      stores and others end up in the countryside.
      Sánchez said that demand fir bicycle lights is 'steady' and that a light
      costs between 40 (4.5 USD $) and 90 pesos(10 USD$) while reflectors cost
      between 4 (45 cents) and 8 pesos (90 cents).
      According to Sánchez, there is a very low demand for helmets, the cheapest
      model costs 70 pesos (7.5 USD) and the more expensive ones 200 pesos (22 $)
      or more.
      Bicycle Accidents 2001 in Torreón (of the 32 victims, 4 died)
      (trans: Naomi Adelson)

      Month Victims Responsible

      January 8 8
      February 11 4
      March 13 2

      Total : 32 14

      source: Torreón County court



      Please send an email with your concerns to the director and the editor of
      the newspaper. (vice president) Director general adjunto del Siglo: Alfonso
      González (agkarg@...)
      (Chief of editorial staff) Jefe de Redacción: Sergio Enrique Guajardo
      (sguajardo@...)
      please send a copy to bicitekas@yahoogroups.com

      thanks very much for your support,

      Tom Dieusaert
      www.bicitekas.org
      bicitekas@yahoogroups.com
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