(photo credit: AP)
There’s a lot that can be done to make bicycle riding safer, Israel Bicycle Association head Yotam Avizohar asserted to The Jerusalem Post on Sunday – the same day Shneur Cheshin was laid to rest after being hit by a motorist while cycling on Friday.
“The number of cycling deaths doubled from 2007 to 2008 and there was a further increase in 2009,” Avizohar said. While the Transportation Ministry had managed to reduce deaths to other atrisk groups on the roads, cyclists had been conspicuously absent from that effort, he added.
“Nothing has been done infrastructure-wise and local authorities are
still waiting for funds from the Transportation Ministry.
Ashkelon, for instance was promised funding which never came through,”
according to Avizohar, whose organization lobbies and promotes, among
other things, safety for cyclists.
Avizohar also pointed to the NIS 100 million plan which was recently
presented by the Tourism Ministry to encourage off-road biking as a
“The Tourism Ministry chose to use most of those funds for a tourist
attraction, rather than increasing bike safety,” he told the Post.
He also said that a government subcommittee established to discuss some
of these issues “never meets.”
So what’s to be done? “There’s infrastructure to upgrade and a lot of
work to be done with drivers and riders,” he said.
Avizohar was quick to indicate that riders needed more safety education
“He [Cheshin] should not have been riding on that road. It’s a dangerous
road where people have been killed before and I’m afraid more will be
killed there in the future,” he opined.
Avizohar said that he and the 25,000 riders he represents sent
condolences to the Cheshin family and announced that the association
would hold a ride on Friday at 10 a.m. to call on the government to take
action to ensure cyclists’ safety.
The Transportation Ministry did not respond to a request for comment by