8th Avenue South is one of the busiest streets in the city with congestion occurring at all hours of the day, and city planners want to make it safer for pedestrians and cyclists by installing bike lanes.
Per a report by WKRN.com, Berry Hill is working on adding a center lane and two bike lanes for a stretch of the road near the location where it turns into Franklin, and the Metro Planning Department may follow suit by adding the same amenities between Wedgewood Avenue and the roundabout on South Broadway.
The road currently features four lanes of traffic that can get backed up during rush hour. Making the road more accessible to pedestrians and cyclists could help reduce the congestion.
However, some business owners aren’t onboard with the plan, and one told reporters that it would make traffic worse. Because there are no feasible options for widening the road, the installation of the bike lanes and center lane would require removing normal traffic lanes.
The proposal hasn’t been finalized, and future meetings will dictate whether the plan continues to move forward.
How Can Bicyclists Stay Safe when Riding Near Traffic?
Many Nashville residents get around town on bicycles. And while the city has made efforts to become more bike-friendly in recent years, riders still face serious risks every time they head out on the roadway. Bicyclists are naturally at a big disadvantage when riding next to cars, trucks, and SUVs, as they have little to no protection in the event of an accident—and drivers may not even be aware of their presence.
If you frequently travel on a bicycle, it’s important to follow these steps to better protect yourself:
- Always wear a helmet.
Helmets are the first and in many cases only line of defense for bicyclists. Wearing an approved helmet that fits properly can save your life, and you should wear one on every trip—whether it’s your commute to and from work or just a leisurely ride around the neighborhood. If you’re ever involved in an accident that involves your helmet, be sure to replace it as soon as possible, as damaged helmets are less effective at protecting riders.
- Wear bright and reflective clothing and equip your bike with reflectors.
Being highly visible to drivers is one of the best things you can do when it comes to avoiding crashes. Because drivers aren’t often on the lookout for bicyclists, you need to take extra steps to increase your visibility at all distances, and that means wearing clothing that’s both brightly colored and reflective. In addition, having reflectors on your bike makes it easier for drivers to spot.
- Inspect your bike frequently and make sure all components are in good working condition.
When you’re riding near traffic, it’s vital that you ride as cautiously as possible and stay in complete control of your bike. However, doing so can be extremely difficult if any components on your bike fail or break down. Check your tire pressure frequently and immediately replace tires that are punctured or that has debris lodged in the rubber. In addition, you should also inspect the brakes and chain to make sure they’re not in danger of failing.
In addition to these tips, you should also follow all traffic laws regarding bicycles, which include things like riding with the flow of traffic, stopping at stop signs and red lights, yielding to vehicles and pedestrians when required, using bike lanes when available, and never riding while distracted or under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
Were you or someone you know injured while riding a bike in Nashville? If the accident was caused by the other driver’s negligence, you may be eligible to pursue a claim for compensation for your medical bills and lost wages. Matt Hardin Law’s team of Nashville bicycle accident attorneys has more than two decades of experience fighting for the rights of injured victims like you, and we know what it takes to build strong claims that get results. Get in touch with us today by dialing (615) 200-1111 or completing a free online consultation form.