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Bicycling in the dark: Local cyclists offer tips for safer riding in the evenings

Bicycling in the dark: Local cyclists offer tips for safer riding in the evenings

News Advice includes slowing down, taking residential streets instead of major thoroughfares, using reflective gear and bike lights Time to read: about 2 minutes Pedestrians…

Saturday, Nov 19

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News Advice includes slowing down, taking residential streets instead of major thoroughfares, using reflective gear and bike lights

Time to read: about 2 minutes Pedestrians cross Churchill Avenue on Nov. 20, 2019. Photo by Sammy Dallal. With the shorter days of standard time, Palo Alto bicyclists have more obstacles to navigate, from the glare of the setting sun to sharing the road with cars in the dark.

"Walking and biking in the city is quite safe compared to the U.S. overall, but there are lots of high-speed roads where the majority of crashes happen," said Arnout Boelens, who is the PTA Council chair of the Safe Routes to School program, a partnership of the city of Palo Alto, Palo Alto Unified School District and PTAs.

Boelens identified downtown Palo Alto, where there is a high concentration of bicyclists and motorists, and high-speed corridors like El Camino Real and Middlefield Road as areas where bicycle crashes occur more often in a report that he posted to Walk Bike Palo Alto, an organization that promotes active transportation, like walking and biking.

Boelens also identified particular times of the day when more crashes occur, such as early mornings, late afternoons and early evenings when more people commute to school and work. Seasonality was another factor, as a high frequency of crashes occurred in January and February, which Boelens attributed to the possibility of a low-setting sun and poor street lighting.

Students represent the largest share of bicyclists on the road, with more than 57% of Palo […]

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