Tri-state cycling organization calls for safety improvements after cyclist deaths

NEWPORT, Ky. (WXIX) – A tri-state cycling organization is calling for improvements to bike paths around the area after two cyclists were killed over the weekend in separate crashes.

Gloria San Miguel and Dr. Jefferey Robbins both died riding bicycles.

Their deaths have Tri-State Trails organizations fighting to expand trails and bike paths throughout the region.

Wade Johnston is the director of Tri-State Trails.

He says there are trails for cyclists in all three states, but they are imperfect.

“The trails are not very well connected,” Johnston explained. “It’s a big hurdle for people to use them more in their day-to-day lives. When you reach that dead end or that pinch point or that scary intersection, it’s enough to put most people off biking.

Tri-State Trails helps develop the Cincinnati Riding or Walking Network (CROWN) to offset these issues. The CROWN will also connect to northern Kentucky.

“It’s a vision to build a 34-mile trail loop around the city, and it would connect the Wasson Way Trail, the Little Miami Trail, the Ohio River Trail, and the Greenway to form a network so people can get to almost any place. neighborhood of Cincinnati and I feel good about making this choice.”

According to Johnston, 2021 ranked among the worst years for road deaths in Cincinnati. He says Cincinnati has reported 38 traffic-related deaths, and of those, three were cyclists.

After San Miguel’s death on the 11th Street Bridge, Johnston says it’s time for a change.

“There’s a petition going around for the City of Covington and Newport to put bike lanes on the bridge that Gloria San Miguel was killed on,” Johnston said.

The petition has more than 2,000 signatures as of Tuesday.

Once the petition reaches 3,000 signatures, Johnston will present the petition to the Kentucky Department of Transportation and the City of Newport.

He says the Department for Transport has proposed inserting beacons which are road markings that warn drivers that cyclists are sharing lanes.

That’s not enough, Johnston thinks.

“Lane markings wouldn’t have stopped this [San Miguel] of being hit by a vehicle during this hit-and-run incident,” Johnston said. “What our region needs is protected cycling infrastructure and paths separated by car traffic.”

The City of Newport tells FOX19 NOW that it will release details of the actions it plans to take regarding traffic safety in the coming days.

The driver who hit San Miguel has not been found.

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Aubrey L. Morgan