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Could simple sign changes make for safer League City biking?

Texas enjoys a road system that may be considered the envy of many other states. It also enjoys a more attractive year-round climate than a lot of other regions. Those things combined can mean a lot of variety in the kinds of traffic that might be encountered, so it becomes important for residents and visitors to cooperate on ensuring everyone's safety.

Most communities, aware of the need for that cooperation, do what they can to promote proper rules of the road for bicyclists and motorists. We're sure you've probably seen those "Share the Road" signs around.

Still, the rate of accidents due to negligence is higher than any of us would like and the results can be serious or fatal injuries.

The saddest thing is that it doesn't necessarily have to take a lot to make things better. It could be as simple as making traffic signs clearer. That's the conclusion, at least, of a North Carolina State University study.

Researchers conducted an online survey of 1,800 individuals. The respondents were exposed to three different ways of conveying the message that bicycle riders have as much of a right to be in a lane of traffic as motorists. One was that "Share the Road" sign. Another was painted images on the pavement to mark lane sharing. The last was a sign that reads "Bicycles May Use Full Lane."

The scientists say the last option was the clear winner. But the poll also revealed that while 92 percent of respondents got the message best with the more specific signage, only 70 percent thought it was safe for cyclists to stray far from the curb.

Many experts say doing more to increase the use of bicycles for transportation is a good idea for all sorts of reasons; our health, the environment and the economy among them. But the study's authors say misperceptions about rights and misgivings about safety deter a lot of would-be cyclists from that mode of transportation, so something more needs to be done.

What do you think would help?

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