Monday, March 21, 2011

Quick action by LeeDOT in responding to safety problem near Lexington School

Kudos to LeeDOT staff for responding so quickly and effectively to a problem brought to BikeWalkLee's attention by a member of the Lexington Bicycle Club. As you can see from the above photo, the new signs have already been installed!

Below are excerpts from the correspondence.

Sent: Wednesday, March 16, 2011 9:09 PM
Subject: from Tom Kelly

I live in Lexington, and cycle all over at least twice each week, usually once with the bike club and once or twice on my own. I and other members of the club have noticed a dangerous situation, something that happened to me again this morning. After leaving Lexington and turning left on Summerlin, within about a half a mile you must cross the entrance/exit for the Lexington middle school. around 8 a.m. parents are dropping off their children, and as they exit, 75% of them, as they approach Summerlin to make the right turn, are only looking to the left to check when there's an opening in the traffic so they can go. many of them, as they spot an opening, begin going while still looking to the left...who can i contact to have a sign placed by the exit that says, "look to your right for bicycles." we do, as you know, have the right of way. the bike path in that area is heavily used.

From: Wingard, Paul
Sent: Monday, March 21, 2011 10:59 AM


Thanks for sending this on to us to investigate...We will proceed and get the signs put up this week. But two things I would like to point out in regards to this idea.

First, I think this is a great idea. This is the kind of ideas that we need to explore more. It is really a relatively small cost with a potential for a significant benefit. Not that we can implement every idea, but I appreciate you sending it on and would encourage everyone to keep looking for things like this. So a big thanks to Tom.

That is the upside, now a negative, the other side of coin. Once the signs are up, the cyclists and pedestrians have to realize that just because the sign is there does not mean every driver will obey and actually look. I worry that but doing something like this we give somebody a false sense of security and they walk or ride out in front of a vehicle and get hit. So we need to be sure that we educate the users of the path that they still must exercise extra caution. With all of these things, education and enforcement are the real foundation for making the needed improvements and see the true benefit.

Again, thanks for the suggestion.
Paul W. Wingard
Interim Director, DOT

If you see safety concerns for cyclists and pedestrians in Lee County, don't hesitate to contact us ( and we'll share your concerns with LeeDOT officials, who have been very responsive.

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