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Local Transportation Organizations Partnering To Offer Streetcar-Bicycle Training

The reintroduction of train tracks to Cincinnati’s streets are bringing more than streetcars. They are also introducing a potential obstacle for people riding bikes, and local leaders are hoping to avoid any problems.

Area cyclists have long been aware of the risks with riding over certain sewer grates due their design that can allow for tires to get caught, thus causing an accident for the person riding the bike. With track work nearly complete, the same is true for cyclists navigating streets with train tracks on them.

While the risks posed by such an arrangement are minimal and easily avoided, local transportation officials are working to make sure that there are no problems. As a result, SORTA and Queen City Bike have put together some recommendations for people riding bikes on streets where the streetcar operates.

They suggest to look and listen for trains, and to never cross in front of a moving train as it is approaching; be aware that rails can be slippery when wet; cross tracks at a 90-degree angle; and to just generally practice safe riding techniques and maintain awareness.

“Cincinnati is becoming increasingly bike-friendly and we want to ensure that riders are aware of these simple safety tips that can help them avoid potential falls or damage to their bikes when riding along the streetcar route,” said Metro’s System Safety Director T.J. Thorn.

Queen City Bike is also working with Cincy Red Bike to offer free streetcar safety clinics every second Saturday of the month at 10am in Washington Park. Organizers say that the free clinics will run through October, which is just after the scheduled arrival of Cincinnati’s first streetcar vehicles. At these clinics bicyclists will learn how to safely ride adjacent to the streetcar tracks, and how to properly cross over the tracks.

Streetcar Bike Safety

By Randy A. Simes

Randy is an award-winning urban planner who founded UrbanCincy in May 2007. He grew up on Cincinnati’s west side in Covedale, and graduated from the University of Cincinnati’s nationally acclaimed School of Planning in June 2009. In addition to maintaining ownership and serving as the managing editor for UrbanCincy, Randy has worked professionally as a planning consultant throughout the United States, Korea and the Middle East. After brief stints in Atlanta and Chicago, he currently lives in the Daechi neighborhood of Seoul’s Gangnam district.