Biker Chris Atkinson argued in favor of bike paths before the Morris City Council. (Photo: Marshall Hoffman)

During the public comment portion of last night’s Morris City Council meeting, Morris resident and bicyclist Chris Atkinson offered his support for establishing more bike lanes in the city. While he noted that it may be legal to ride on most city sidewalks, Atkinson said it was not safe to do so and goes against recommended biking guidelines.

“One reason it’s dangerous to ride on sidewalks is that every time you approach an intersection, you have to re-negotiate with the traffic to cross,” said Atkinson. “It isn’t much of a problem if you’re going to stop each time that you cross, but it makes cycling quite inconvenient. The other problem is that many people will be riding along and see cars coming and assume the car will see them. But car drivers aren’t looking for someone going 12-20 miles per hour. So, this really makes it very dangerous.”

He also noted that it was more dangerous for pedestrians if bikes are used on sidewalks. Atkinson said the creation of more bike lanes throughout the city would create an alternative to getting to school or the university, as well as connecting with the Pomme de Terre bike trail. It would also be in line with the city’s sustainability efforts, he said.

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