Saturday, June 13, 2015

News-Press: "Bicycling: 7 cities"--Chattanooga, TN

NP feature 6/14/15--Chapter 3: Chattanooga, TN
 Link to Overview article: Bicycling: 7 cities that will make Florida riders jealous


                                          TEACH ‘EM WHILE THEY’RE YOUNG
In Tennessee, Chattanooga’s driver education program includes a short bicycle ride aimed at making students more empathetic and cautious drivers.
(Photo: Special to The News-Press)
Teens and young adults who take the subsidized, professionally taught driving course in Chattanooga, Tennessee, get bicycle safety instruction as well.

Following a presentation on how motorists should behave around bicyclists, walkers, and mass transit users, students ride a bus, walk across downtown, and take a short bicycle ride using the Chattanooga's bike-share system.

The goal: Encourage students to be more empathetic and aware drivers and to have a better understanding of ways to get around the city, says Philip Pugliese with the Chattanooga-Hamilton County Regional Planning Agency.

In driver's ed, Pugliese noted, "we have a captive audience."

To promote observance of the law requiring motorists to pass bicyclists with a minimum of 3-feet clearance, Chattanooga recently debuted a new tech tool the bike patrol officer is using.

It bounces ultrasonic waves off vehicles passing bicycles, measuring the distance between the two.

Officer Rob Simmons told a reporter for the Chattanooga Times Free Press that when he stops unwitting violators, he usually doesn't write them up, but instead, hands them a pamphlet about the 3-foot rule.

Said Simmons: "The goal is not to write tickets. The goal is to educate motorists."

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