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 Safety and Education Page


Have you been involved in, or witnessed, an incident involving a non-motorized vehicle? 

If so, please report the details of this incident by clicking the link below:

Incident Reports: non-motorized vehicles (beta v1.0 incident reporting system)


Your Safety and Education Team (a collaboration between the Cherry Capital Cycling Club and TART Trails) developed the Incident Reporting System. If you have any questions about this form, kindly direct them to our Communications Director (click link to the left to send email).

Currently Incidents have been reported at the following locations:

Michigan Traffic Incident Data
All kinds of views are available.

  1. If you are walking or on a bicycle in Traverse City and someone in a car harasses you, buzzes you, or in any other way intentionally (as you see it) attempts to use their car as tool to bully you, call the TC Police Department non-emergency number: 231.995.5150
  2. File an Incident Report: non-motorized vehicles (beta v1.0 incident reporting system)

Not Enough Cyclists Killed to Count?
Tell DOT That Cyclist Fatalities Matter.
Transportation agencies across the country are about to miss an important opportunity to improve non-motorized traffic safety and encourage healthy and active transportation options.
The US Department of Transportation is required by the new transportation law to establish national safety goals and performance measures to guide the states. Right now, they are NOT proposing any separate national goals or performance measures to improve the safety of bicyclists and/or pedestrians. We cannot let this happen – these measures will be used to guide traffic safety policy and funding at the national and state level for years to come.
If this is allowed to happen, there will be no national target to improve the safety of cycling or walking; there will be no measures established to track or monitor pedestrian and bicyclist safety or collect data related to these areas; and there will be no incentive, guidance or leadership given to state and local agencies to tackle this important piece of overall traffic safety policy. Without a specific performance measure to focus on nonmotorized safety, bicyclists and pedestrians will remain firmly in the blindspot of traffic safety.
Funding for overall highway safety programs was almost doubled in MAP-21. Even though bicyclists and pedestrians now account for almost 16% of all traffic fatalities in the US, states are spending less than 0.5% of their safety funds to solve this problem. This is exactly the time to establish meaningful national goals and performance measures to tackle bicyclist and pedestrian safety as part of an overall, comprehensive and multi-modal traffic safety program.
The League of American Bicyclists has written a letter to Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood asking him to include specific national goals and performance measures for bicyclist and pedestrian safety.
The LMB urges you to add your name to the letter here(Scroll down to letter portion of Action Alert.)

The city of Traverse City provides a quick and easy reference guide to riding safely in our city.

Traverse City Police Captain Brian Heffner said police aren’t discounting the similarities. All three were females, bicycling home from the downtown area in the early morning at very nearly the same time of year. All three were hit by a dark pickup or SUV that came up from behind them. “We’re trying to determine if they are all related,” he said. “Obviously, we want to solve all three of them.”
Bicyclist injuries from motor vehicles are epidemic in Traverse City this summer

We are experiencing an epidemic of motor vehicle-bicycle accidents with about 10 crashes in Traverse City in the last two weeks.  Most of these crashes have resulted in injuries to the cyclists requiring hospital treatment.  Our own M’Lynn Hartwell suffered two fractured vertebra as she was riding home after leading a bike train a week ago as part of Smart Commute Week!

The CCCC Safety and Education Team urge you to write letters and/or e-mails to local media stating your concern for the safety of local cyclists. The upcoming summer season will increase the use of bicycles for recreation and economic reasons and so this current trend requires action on the part of motorist and cyclists alike. It is up to us to make a difference through our behavior whether we are driving a vehicle or riding a bicycle.

For more information see the TV 9 and 10 segment on safety that aired in June. Also, read the excellent article by Pat Sullivan, the new investigative reporter at the Northern Express, in the June 12 issue. Sadly, other than these two reports, there has been scant and insufficient or no coverage in the local media. Contact both the Northern Express and the Record-Eagle.

Your Safety and Education Team will update you on this important issue as we obtain more information.

On behalf of the CCCC Board and CCCC Safety & Education Team,

Fred Schaafsma

Cherry Capital Cycling Club - . The Safety and Education team recently launched a “Light up the Night” bike taillight initiative with the hope that it will increase safety among Traverse City's most vulnerable cyclists, the homeless and unemployed. 


TV 9 & 10 News

TV 7 & 4 News

The Safety and Education Team of the Cherry Capital Cycling Club helps to "Light up the Night" for our local homeless. Listen to the Norm Jones show... Click Here


As you know, the Michigan House of Representatives overwhelming approved the Complete Streets legislation (HR 6151 and HR 6152). It is imperative that MDOT take into consideration the Complete Streets initiative in its designs and construction. To help in those efforts the Cherry Capital Cycling Club urges MDOT to consider the following:

Read Letter: Click Here


Driver cited in car bicycle collision

TRAVERSE CITY — Traverse City police handled their second traffic crash involving a bicyclist in as many days. A Grawn man, 20, turned onto Monroe Street from Bay Street on Wednesday evening and struck a bicyclist with his vehicle, police said. The bicyclist, 59, of Traverse City, was taken to Munson Medical Center with an injured back. Police cited the driver for making an improper turn. The crash came a day after another Traverse City man struck a bicyclist with his vehicle along Sixth Street. That bicyclist, 23, of Bellaire, also was taken to Munson Medical Center for treatment. Police recommend that motorists to use caution when driving this summer because of more bicyclists along the road. 

23-year-old bicyclist taken to Munson

TRAVERSE CITY — A Bellaire man was hospitalized after a motorist struck him as he tried to bike across the street. A Traverse City man, 48, turned onto Sixth Street from Union Street on Tuesday afternoon and struck a bicyclist with his vehicle, city police Capt. Steve Morgan said. The bicyclist, 23, hit the windshield and was taken to Munson Medical Center with “considerable, but nonlife-threatening” injuries, Morgan said. The driver was cited for failing to yield at an intersection.


On June 20th a young cyclist (19) was struck and killed by a hit & run intoxicated motorist.  One of his fellow cyclists was seriously injured.  Here is the link to the local TV station’s website with the story (article only, no video):  Link >>

Please send letters, call, or send an e-mail to MDOT and our representatives:

Michigan Representative Wayne Schmidt <
S-1388 House Office Building
P.O. Box 30014
Lansing, MI  48933
Phone: (517) 373-1766
Toll Free: (800) REP-1046

Michigan Senator Jason Allen <
Post Office Box 30036
Lansing, MI  48909-7536
Office Phone: (517) 373-2413
Office Location: 820 Farnum Building

US Senator Carl Levin <>      
269 Russell Office Building
U.S. Senate
Washington, DC 20510-2202
Phone (202) 224-6221

Cars Kill

Deaths from Cars. Car emissions kill 30,000 peopleand car collisions kill 46,000 each year in the U.S. (2) Ofthese, 25,136 were a result of road departure, 9,213intersection-related, and 4,749 were pedestrians. (FHWA)

Motorists usually at fault. The NYC group Right ofWay says: "After NYC cycling fatalities increased twofold in1999, police rushed to cover their, er, reputation byclaiming (without analysis or supporting data) that cyclistsare to blame in 75% of cycling deaths. Right of Way took acloser look. Surprise! The truth is just the reverse, aslisted in our report, TheOnly Good Cyclist (PDF)." According to Right of Way,over90% of cyclist deaths in NYC are the fault ofdrivers.

Most at-fault motorists who kill cyclists andpedestrians get off the hook. A studyby the Silicon Valley Bicycle Coalition shows that threeout of four at fault drivers were never evencited for hitting and killing pedestrians. 22% of fatalpedestrian crashes involved hit and run drivers, yet, noneof the runaway motorists were found or charged. In New York,70-92% of drivers were at-fault in killing pedestrians andcyclists, but 74% didn't even get a ticket. (,1999) The story in Austinis similar.

First Car Crash killed a cyclist. The firstautomobile crash in the United States occurred in New YorkCity in 1896, when a motor vehicle collided with abicyclist. (1)

SUVs. An average SUV or a pickup is more thantwice as likely as a car to kill the driver of the othervehicle in a collision, and an SUV is four times as likelyto roll over in an accident. (3)

SUV's deadlier to child pedestrians than passengercars by about 18%. (NTSA,2003)

Big pickups kill even more than SUV's. When theaverage large pickup truck collides with a second vehicle,people in the second vehicle die at a rate of 293 for every100,000 crashes, according to federal crash statistics. Bycomparison, large sport utility vehicles kill people in thesecond vehicle at a rate of 205 per 100,000 crashes;minivans kill at a rate of 104 deaths; and large cars at arate of 85 deaths. (NYT,July 31, 2003)

Auto crashes is the leading cause of deathfor people age 6-27, males age 6-23 & 26, and femalesage 4-6 & 8-28. (4)

Red Lights. This July 2000 articlein USA Today has a lot of statistics about cars runningred lights (which kill about 800 people a yearnationwide).

Where cyclists die or crash

U.S. cyclists are three more likely to be killed thanGerman cyclists and six times more than Dutch cyclists,whether compared per-trip or per-distance traveled.(Reuters, Aug. 28, 2003, by MaggieFox)

Safety in numbers. Worldwide, the greater theconcentration of cyclists, the lower the fatality rate. Thatis, the more cyclists, the safer it is to cycle. Byconverse, the fewer cyclists, the more dangerous it is tocycle. This is a main reason why cyclists oppose helmetlaws, because they're shown to reduce the number ofcyclists, and that makes cycling more dangerous for thosewho remain (whether they wear a helmet or not). The Safetyin Numbers principle was proved even within this country, asNYC has a similar rate of cycling fatalities per capitacompared to the rest of the country, but nearly fourtimes as many people bike or walk to work in NYCcompared to the rest of the U.S. (BicyclistFatalities and Serious Injuries in New York CityPDF,1996-2005)

Cyclist fatalities occurred more frequently in urbanareas (66%), at nonintersection locations (67%), betweenthe hours of 5 p.m. and 9 p.m. (30%), and during the monthsof June, July, and August (36%). (NHTSA,2004)

89% of fatal bike crashes in NYC occurred at or within25 feet of intersections. ("BicyclistFatalities and Serious Injuries in New York City",PDF,NYC government, 2005)

The most common bike-car collision is a driver failingto yield at a stop sign.(BicyclingLife, 1995)

Study shows the most common kinds of bike-carcollisions. (BicyclingLife, 1995)

Riding the wrong way (against traffic) is three timesas dangerous as riding the right way, and for kids, it's seven times as dangerous.(BicyclingLife, 1985-89)

Riding on the sidewalk is several more times moredangerous than riding in the street.(WilliamMoritz, 1998) Anotherstudy says it's twice as dangerous.(BicyclingLife, 1985-89)

Most deaths on major roads. Fifty-seven percent ofbicycle deaths in 1999 occurred on major roads, and 37percent occurred on local roads. (6)

Streets with bike lanes have a significantly lowercrash rate then either major or minor streets without any  bicycle facilitiesWilliamMoritz, 1998) (38 and 56% respectively). (

Streets with bike lanes are safer than thosewithout. Article also has information about the safety of bike paths. (,2004)


Cherry Capital Cycling Club: Bike Safely PSA

Produced in Partnership with TV 9 & 10 News: Helping Hands

Cherry Capital Cycling Club: Share the Road PSA

Produced in Partnership with TV 9 & 10 News: Helping Hands


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