San José, Costa Rica, since 1956
Road Safety

President Luis Guillermo Solís orders plan to protect cyclists

President Luis Guillermo Solís ordered a group of his ministers and officials to draft, within 30 days, a comprehensive plan to improve protection for cyclists.

Solís announced the order on Monday during an event in San José where he officially inaugurated the new school year.

The president asked ministers of Public Education, Transport and Public Works (MOPT), Culture and Youth, Sports as well as the Executive President of the National Insurance Institute to form a special group to draft the plan.

The strategy should also take into consideration opinions from the Roadway Safety Council, and from urban cyclists groups, motorists groups, private sector leaders and other citizen groups.

Solís said the country currently has a large number of regulations and policies about roadway safety and education, but they lack coordination. For that reason he asked top officials of those agencies to consolidate all of them in order to look for a more effective compliance.

“We’ve worked all week in memory of the people who died in the tragic accident last week and we found that we have a lot of good programs, but they all are very dispersed,” Solís said.

The president said they are absolutely aware that the country needs more Traffic Police officers. He also said he supports recent proposals such as reinstating surveillance cameras on the roads and distributing reflective vests.

Cyclists at La Sabana Park stage a protest demanding more protection for them on the streets.

(Via ChepeCletas)

Cyclists march

Solís’ order came just a day after thousands of cyclists marched along the main streets of the capital San José, demanding respect for them on the roads.

Among other events, the march included a demonstration at La Sabana Park, west of the downtown, where cyclists formed a giant “Respect” sign and staged other protests.

They also rode in front of Calderón Guardia Hospital, where the only survivor of the fatal traffic accident that killed three cyclists last week is still in serious conditions.

The march concluded precisely at the exact location of the accident in Curridabat, east of San José, where three painted hearts on the road remember the victims.

Cyclists and other citizen groups also demonstrated in front of the Legislative Assembly and the MOPT last Thursday asking for stricter regulations and for better protection for them.

They delivered lawmakers and MOPT officials with a ten-point list of petitions and placed white bikes at both buildings.

See a video of Sunday’s demonstration posted by urban cyclists group ChepeCletas.

Contact L. Arias at larias@ticotimes.net

Comments are closed.

Justin

President SOLIS should ALSO protect the rights of iNNOCENT dogs from cruelty, and punish those who TORTURE the INCLUdiNG the CHINESE who cook them ALIVE ( See videos on Face book)
HE PROMISED to pass the bill that punishes people who abuse them …then proved himself as a LIAR ! VOTE HIM OUT DOG… LOVERS NOW hate HIM!

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RevMichael Carbone

Yes they deserve respect. BUT they need to respect drivers too. I’ve experienced where there are a few riding together and one looks behind and sees you coming and they decide to block the road and ride side by side..

It’s hard enough at times avoiding potholes but then you get a group together and they deliberately make it harder.. they have the attitude of motorcyclists, they own the road.

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Ken Morris

While bicyclists can be as rude and selfish as anyone else, you may be misunderstanding why cyclists sometimes “block” (from your perspective) the road.

Good cyclists know that there are times when for their own safety they must do what is known as “take the lane.” They must do this when lane width is not adequate for motorists to overtake them safely, when they are planning to turn left, and when there are obstacles in the road that will force them to veer into traffic. Little potholes that can be annoying to motorists can be death to a bicyclist, and believe me, cyclists are more alert to them than are motorists. If they “take the lane” in front of you, it’s probably because they see a danger ahead that you don’t see.

Plus, it’s their road too, so they actually aren’t blocking it, just using it. Yep, being caught behind them for a spell can slow down a motorist, but as a rule even lazy bicyclists go 10 – 12 MPH, which isn’t really that slow. In fact, it’s faster than the average urban speed of motorists. So you can always just slow down and wait for them to decide that it’s safe for you to pass, at which point they’ll move to the right and waive you on.

It’s a road sharing thing.

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wsfreeman

Perhaps on level ground your estimate of 10-12 MPH would be accurate but I dispute that number if following a peloton of wanna-be Tour de France riders going up the mountain road out of Barva. Many can’t even maintain the speed necessary to keep balance and are in danger of falling into the ditch in spite of their many hundred dollar carbon-fiber ultra light frames.

As to it being “their road too”, I’d ask where is their sticker for their marchamo and RITEVE. Are they licensed? Do they have to pass a test on the rules of the road? A physical (even as poor as it is)?

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