Monday, September 7, 2015

State of Delaware DOT removing all "Share the Road" signs; and will Austin Gilliam's death be in vain

Read about the sad death of Austin Gilliam below. First, an article by Geffen Semach in MomentumMag explains why "Share the Road" signs are having the opposite effect than what's intended:
     In November, 2014, the Delaware Department of Transportation announced that they would cease to use the “Share the Road” plaque on license plates and uninstall all “Share the Road” traffic signs across the state. Many assumed that the cycling advocacy group, Bike Delaware, would be infuriated by the announcement. As it turns out, Bike Delaware were the ones to request the signs’ removal. But why?
     Despite its good intentions, the “Share the Road” directive had some serious problems – its issues sprung from a general sense of confusion and disagreement between road users on who the sign was directed at, at what it was telling them to do. [emphasis added]
     For bicyclists in Delaware (and elsewhere), “Share the Road” was interpreted to be for motorists, telling them to just, you know, be cool, give people on bikes some space. But for drivers, the sign was there to tell cyclists: “Don’t slow me down, stay over to the side so I can pass.” After years of yelling “Share the Road!” at each other, it was finally realized that not only does the sign not help, it actually contributes to conflict between the various modes.
Read about the terrible death of Austin Gilliam here. We learned from one media source that Mr. Gilliam wasn't wearing a helmet which was information not very helpful in this vehicle/bicycle crash. Below is a sign near the area where he was run over by a large semi truck:

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