Cyclists take to the streets for National Bike Month

WASHINGTON – May is National Bike Month, a reminder that bikes are increasingly becoming part of the traffic flow.

As more commuters say they save a bundle on gas by biking just a few days a week, area police departments say everyone from pedestrians, cyclists and drivers need to remember that no one owns the road, no matter the form of transportation.

Joy Patil, a Montgomery County police officer, was handing out bracelets with the word “RESPECT” on them during the recent Bike To Work Day in Silver Spring.

“Pedestrians need to follow the laws to make sure that they cross safely and carefully,” she says.

She also says drivers have a responsibility as well, especially when they are trying to make a right turn on red.

“If they do, they’re doing so safely and carefully and watching out for those pedestrians who do have the right of way in those situations,” Patil says.

Patil says cyclists should remember to stick to the rules as well, resisting the urge to zip through a red light.

“We want to make sure everyone stays safe and follows the rules that are intended for them,” Patil says.

Area businesses benefit from National Bike Month as well. Linda Mack, owner of Silver Cycles in Silver Spring, says business is good.

“I think more commuters are driving people into the store,” Mack says.

The area is trying to become more bike-friendly. Montgomery County has put more money in the budget for bike trail improvements and is bringing bikeshare stations to the county.

WTOP’s Kate Ryan contributed to this report. Follow @WTOP on Twitter.

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