So, first things first: I do not ride my bike everywhere…I’d love to say I do, but I don’t.
Truth is, riding a bike in Shreveport isn’t very enjoyable. In fact, it is kind of stressful.
At any moment you could be run down from behind by a ’92 Lincoln Town Car piloted by a sweet old lady who can’t see sixty inches in front of her. Move onto the sidewalk you say? I did! And I busted my tire on an rooted-up section of the sidewalk, while trying to dodge one of the many strategically placed low lying tree limbs that turn your peaceful bike ride into an obstacle course.
Shreveport/Bossier makes no concessions for bicyclists. Well, that is not entirely true. There is one section of South Highlands—on Creswell I think—where they painted a bicycle on the street! There is not a road in town, to my knowledge, that has been adjusted in anyway to make it safer for cyclists. Not only are the streets not safe, in many cases, the sidewalks are just as bad, or all together non-existent. All over town there are sections of sidewalk that have, what amount to ledges or cliffs, depending on whether you are coming or going. On the highly trafficked stretch of Fern that connects Pierremont Ave to 70th St. there isn’t a sidewalk at all, and the lane is barely big enough to accommodate an SUV.
There is no reason why Shreveport shouldn’t be more bike friendly. I know that Shreveporters are not as inclined to pedal to work, as say Boulderites are, but there are enough bikers in town to warrant some accommodations. It doesn’t have to be perfect, but surely we are worth at least some basic safety precautions. Between the herds of people biking for sport in spandex uniforms, and those of us who ride for pleasure, and those who bike as a means of travel, either by choice or circumstance, surely there are enough people in Shreveport to put some pressure on local politicians.
Truth is the problem is more serious than a popped tire. I have had two friends hit by cars while riding their bikes. Just last month D’Various Magee, a 16 year old boy, was hit and killed by a car at the corner of E.79th Street and Thornhill Avenue while riding his bike. Magee’s death was tragic, but we have to opportunity to prevent similar accidents in the future.
The Dee MaGee Bill: Sign the Change.org petition authored by Morgan Johnson
In light of the tragic events surrounding D’Vorious MaGee’s death, this is a petition to the City Council of Shreveport, LA to construct bike lanes on major roads throughout the city. Shreveport is a growing city and subsequently has a growing number of bikers. Our city is quickly progressing and our streets and roads should be progressing as well. Our city’s roads should accommodate bikers and motorists alike. Yes, construction of bike lanes will cost some extra money and temporarily add extra traffic to our streets, but that is a small investment in the future of Shreveport and the future safety of our city’s bikers. The introduction of bike lanes to major roads in the city of Shreveport will prevent tragic deaths such as Dee’s and make Shreveport a better place to live.