Some western Massachusetts bike lanes have led to confusion and caused some concern among both bicyclists and drivers.
MassDOT has been adding bike lanes along roadways throughout the state and said they are safe as long as both drivers and bicyclists obey the rules and take proper precautions.
We’re seeing more and more bike lanes on western Massachusetts roads. MassDOT added bike lanes after repaving Route 116 in Chicopee last month.
Bike lanes are meant specifically for bicyclists, but drivers can cross them to make turns.
“I mainly stay on the sidewalk to be honest because I feel like if you’re on a sidewalk you’re safer than on a big intersection like this,” said Alphonse White of Holyoke.
There are bike lanes across western Massachusetts, including Lower Westfield Road in Holyoke. MassDOT said the bike lanes are safe and they will help prevent accidents between bicyclists and drivers.
Mickey’s Bike Shop in Chicopee told 22News bicycle riders have expressed concerns about the new bike lanes on Route 116.
“It’s something new for both them and the driver of the vehicle so just be careful out there and there is going to be a break in period and you just have to remember you are the smallest person on the road,” said Hank Herchel, co-owner of Mickey’s Bike Shop.
Herchel recommends reflective clothing, a rear-view mirror and lights to help increase your safety and visibility when riding a bike at night.
Helmets work. Seventy-five percent of deaths in bicycle accidents could have been prevented if the bicyclist had been wearing a helmet.