New Orleans ranked fifth in cyclist fatalities over last two years

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wwltv.com

Posted on April 21, 2014 at 6:12 PM

Natalie Shepherd / Eyewitness News
Email: nshepherd@wwltv.com | Twitter: @NewsNatalie

NEW ORLEANS -- It's a green, good-for-you way to get around, and cycling is growing as a means of transportation in New Orleans.

According to the Alliance for Biking and Walking, a national advocacy group, New Orleans ranks eighth in the nation when it comes to bike commuting.

An estimated 2.3 percent of the population rides to work.

“As more people take to riding, more people are attracted to riding as well, so it has this really great kind of effect, domino effect,” said Bike Easy Executive Director Naomi Doerner.

Doerner said it's exciting to see more bikes on the road, but New Orleans also cracked the top 10 for another reason. Data shows the city ranks fifth in cycling fatalities over a two-year period.

Most recently, Atlanta firefighter Frank Guinn died while training for the Ironman triathlon earlier this month on Chef Highway.

“It really is about knowing the rules of the road, sharing that space and being courteous with one another,” Doerner said.

It's a statistic Doerner hopes to see change.

The city is committed to spending on infrastructure improvements for riders, including bike lanes and projects such as the Lafitte Greenway.

It's improvements like these that earned the Crescent City seventh place in per-capita spending, right behind Portland, Oregon.

“I think that that population, that segment of people that kind of thought before, oh, I don't know, now they're seeing this infrastructure and they're realizing they can get where they want to go, safely, using these new bike lanes,” Doerner said.

 

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