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Campus & Community

Geared Up for Road-Sharing

Bike Safety Month Event Celebrates Cycling

By Maryland Today Staff


Photos by Stephanie S. Cordle and John T. Consoli

A safety-conscious cyclist wearing a helmet pedals near McKeldin Library on Tuesday.

Biking at Maryland has never been more popular—or satisfying. Passing meandering pedestrians. Bypassing campus traffic. “Parking” right outside the door.

In just the past year, bike registrations are up 46 percent, and membership in the mBike bike-sharing program has increased by 44 percent. The League of American Bicyclists recognizes UMD as a gold-level Bicycle Friendly University for its wealth of cycling resources. 

But with all those new cyclists come new risks, and the Department of Transportation Services works to put the brakes on them in October, during Bike Safety Month. 

Dedicated to peaceful coexistence between bicyclists and motorists on campus roads, the month is packed, like any useful bike rack. It features events such as a breakfast pit stop for cyclists, a free bike light giveaway, classes and a “Spooky Spokes” bike ghost tour. Bike Safety sign

Today, DOTS will pedal into Homecoming Week with a 40-minute group bike ride co-hosted by Maryland Milestones around historic trails, Lake Artemesia and Riverdale Station with a “homecoming” theme. Find all event details here.  

“In recent years, we’ve improved and increased our cycling resources, making it easier for the community to bike on and around campus,” said Anna McLaughlin, assistant director for transportation demand management at DOTS. “But biking offers more than convenience—it's more fun than driving and is a great way to fit exercise into your day.” 

DOTS invites the campus community to Pledge to Share the Road to demonstrate a commitment to keep everyone safe. It also offers the following tips for drivers and cyclists alike: Same roads, same rules for all:

  • Stop Means Stop: Obey traffic signals and stop signs. Always yield to pedestrians in crosswalks.
  • Ride on the Road: Bicycles are vehicles, and vehicles belong on the road.
  • Bikes: Save Sidewalks for Pedestrians: Pedestrians are unpredictable, and chances of a crash are high.
  • Be Predictable: Both cyclists and motorists should make their intentions clear. Don’t swerve, signal at all turns and keep an eye out for each other. 
  • Give Cyclists Space: Give bicyclists at least three feet of space when passing.

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