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Kalamazoo 5-foot bicycle ordinanace gets green light

Posted at 11:23 PM, Sep 19, 2016

KALAMAZOO, Mich. – A new bicycle safety ordinance gets the green light in Kalamazoo Monday night. The city council unanimously passing the proposal to give cyclists more room.

Drivers now have to give riders 5 feet when passing them.

The tragic crash in Kalamazoo county back in June that killed 5 people, still on the minds of a lot of people in West Michigan. Especially bicyclists. And one group, the Kalamazoo bicycle club, is thankful to see a decision like this on the local level.

“After that awful accident, we at the club decided that we wanted to make something positive come out of it,” Says Douglas Kirk, with the Kalamazoo bicycle club.

The constant push for safety, paying dividends for cyclists in Kalamazoo Monday. The new ordinance, telling drivers to give cyclists a 5-foot buffer when passing them.

“Especially in crowded city streets,” Says Marc Irwin, with the Kalamazoo bicycle club. “It can be very important for cars to realize they can’t just squeeze past a bicyclist especially if he’s trying to get a fair distance away from parked cars.”

Tomorrow in Lansing, the Kalamazoo County prosecutor is set to testify in front of a Senate subcommittee, regarding new legislation that would stiffen penalties for drivers who injure or kill vulnerable road users, like bicyclists or runners.