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MJ focusing on bike safety, becoming cyclist friendly
Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Kenny Howell

Managing Editor

In the last few years, especially with the widening of North Mt. Juliet Road, Mt. Juliet has become a more bike friendly city. 

Being new to the cycling lifestyle, Mt. Juliet is not used to having cyclists along the busy thoroughfare, but it is becoming normal to see cyclist getting from place to place, or just out on a leisurely ride. 

Mt. Juliet City Commissioner Art Giles has noticed this as well. 

He has also seen the dangers, including cars riding in the bike lanes, and cyclist weaving in front of cars and running red lights. 

“We need to increase awareness so we can move safely in our city,” said Giles. 

Giles brought a friend, Steve Armstrong, to the city commission meeting to tell the commission about bike safety. From that, an idea was born. Giles sponsored the placement of signs to go along with bike lane signs to let people know the state law is to stay three feet away from cyclist at all times. 

It passed unanimously on first reading, and once again on second reading. Before the second reading, several citizens showed up to the meeting to show their support for the signs. One woman was moved to tears because she had been hit by a car while cycling. 

“We have to embrace that bicyclists are here to stay,” said Giles.  “We want to become a bike friendly city.”

The signs cost $35 apiece. Giles donated the first $35, and has said that several other people have got on board to donate. If you want to donate, you can contact the City of Mt. Juliet at 754-2552 to learn how. 

“If one life is saved, or one accident, it is worth it,” said Giles. 

Giles sees the new bike friendly movement in the city as not only beneficial to the citizens’ recreational activities, but also to the city’s economic development. 

If someone moves to the middle Tennessee and are not sure where to move, the fact that Mt. Juliet has started to move toward not needing a car, or a limited number, is a plus. 

People can now ride their bike to the train station, and ride it into Nashville for work. 

If you want to donate to purchase a sign, you can contact the City of Mt. Juliet at 754-2552 to learn how. 

While it isn’t feasible to recognize the donor on the sign, Giles said the City will find some way to recognize the people that donate.