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Summer is here. Kids are out of school, and tourists and residents alike flock to the beaches and theme parks of Central Florida. This time of year is full of fun outdoor activities, and the roadways of Central Florida are often jammed with folks on their way to or from the many attractions and events in the Orlando area. However, Orlando recently ranked as the most dangerous metro area in the U.S. for pedestrians and bicyclists. We believe this problem can be solved if we all make an effort to share our roadways this summer. Many people drive impatiently or aggressively on the arterial roads of the Orlando area, and this type of driving can have disastrous results. We need to be mindful this summer that our roadways are for sharing, and drive with courtesy and a proper understanding of the rules of the road.
Bicyclists, motorcyclists and cars all share the same rights and duties on our roads, but many people drive with a poor understanding of those rules. For instance, bicyclists have every right to drive in the middle of a traffic lane, but it is against the law for them to drive against the flow of traffic or to cross illegally. Orlando does not have dedicated bicycle lanes in many areas. If a bicyclist is riding in the flow of traffic ahead of you, they have every right to do so, and to crowd them or follow too closely is not only inconsiderate, it is dangerous. Over the last several decades, Orlando’s metro area experienced a population boom that led to quick expansion of the city’s infrastructure. This often led to planning that focused on automobiles, and did not provide the accommodations for bicyclists and pedestrians that other cities may have. New projects are underway all over Central Florida to make our area more friendly to bicyclists and pedestrians. However, we can all play a part in making the Orlando area safer, by being aware that bicycles have the same rights and duties on the road that automobiles do. With summertime upon us, and kids being out of school for vacation, Colling Gilbert Wright & Carter ask that everyone be aware of the pedestrians and bicyclists sharing our city, and drive with caution, courtesy, and patience this summer.