Posted: May 19, 2010 10:21 PM by Ashley Rodrigue
Updated: May 19, 2010 10:27 PM
The annual "Ride of Silence" sent a loud message across Baton Rouge Wednesday when more than 250 bikers put purpose to their pedals.
The bike ride remembers cyclists who have been injured or killed by motorists, like LSU grad student Michael Bitton. Bitton was hit over the weekend while biking along River Road.
Cyclists say they want motorists to be more aware of people on two wheels, and they want it to happen without tragedy striking first. They say awareness begins with mutual respect.
"It's a respect from cyclists to drivers, obeying the rules of the road," said Chris Clark. "It's also a respect for driver to cyclists."
The community contributed thousands of dollars and dozens of pints of blood for Bitton's recovery. Baton Rouge city leaders say they are contributing by continuing to develop a more bike-friendly city.
An extension of the levee bike path is in motion, and a bike path project around the Mall of Louisiana is in the works. Shared-use streets and striped-bike lanes are currently being built. Also, guard rails along the North Boulevard over-pass should become reality in the near future.
The results of a study to develop a bike path from Baton Rouge to New Orleans should be released in August.