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Albuquerque bicyclists worried about safety at Paseo interchange

Many Albuquerque residents want to do their part to ease congestion on area roads and see bicycling as one way to do that while ensuring a greener future for coming generations. Safety, however, is always an issue when it comes to interactions between bicyclists and motorists.

Recently, representatives of the Greater Albuquerque Bicycling Advisory Committee expressed concern over recent plans for the freeway interchange at Paseo and Interstate 25. According to the committee chair, the new plans significantly increase the risks of bicycle accidents for cyclists traveling in Paseo at this interchange.

Initial plans included a bridge for bicyclists over the entire interchange. However, the current plan combines multiple crosswalks, sidewalks and a smaller bridge. While the GABAC chair says numerous research studies show that riding against traffic significantly increases the risks of a potential injury or death for a bicyclist, the contractor claims that the bicycle path will be perfectly safe for riders, even if the path is inconvenient in places.

The contractor also says that a separate bicycle bridge is not possible because state plans asked for a trail system that would be available to both bicyclists and pedestrians. Although the company pledges to be open to public opinion until the project is done, it must keep the budget constraints of the project in mind.

Safety is always a matter of concern for bicyclists exposed to all sorts of potential accident dangers. Injuries are common and can range from minor cuts and bruises to more serious injuries to the neck, spine and head; deaths are also common whenever bicyclists and motor vehicles meet.

Any bicyclist who is injured in an accident should contact an attorney and file a personal injury claim against a negligent driver to be rightfully compensated. Surviving family members of anyone killed by a negligent driver may be eligible to file a wrongful death lawsuit.

Source: KRQE, "Cyclists worry Paseo plan is unsafe," Lysee Mitri, Mar. 10, 2014

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