ALBANY, GA (WALB) - The Georgia Department of Transportation plans to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars to improve safety for bicyclists and pedestrians.
The DOT finalized contracts with Pedestrians Educating Drivers on Safety and Georgia Bikes to implement programs that will make it safer for Georgians to walk and ride bikes.
Steve Mason enjoys riding his bike for exercise, but says he has concerns when he's on the road.
"Traffic safety, cars coming up from behind you," said Steve Mason, Biker. "So anytime there's a paved trail like an old railroad bed like a lot of them are that's a plus."
Over three years, the DOT will invest more than six hundred thousand dollars in programs that align with the state's Strategic Highway Safety Plan.
Breakaway Cycles Owner, Gene Kirk, says distracted drivers put riders in serious danger.
"It's state law that you need to give riders a three feet of space when you pass them, which a lot of people either don't know or don't care because it's not really followed all of the time," said Gene Kirk, Breakaway Cycles Owner.
The programs would provide training to transportation professionals and law enforcement officials and develop an updated state Pedestrian and Bicycle Safety Action plan.
"I think that's a good idea," said Mason.
An inventory would be done of crosswalks at intersections without traffic signals. The state would also study bus stop locations and corridors with a history of collisions.
"It would be a huge opportunity for Albany and the surrounding areas in itself to get the awareness so people could get out and ride and be in a little more safer environment," said Kirk.
Kirk also hopes those plans could be tied in to the planned expansion of recreational trails in Albany.
"If some of these trails get put in and there's actually places to ride, people will actually come from out of town to ride here in a safe controlled environment," said Kirk.
90% of the funding is federal and the other 10% is from the state. PEDS will host its first Georgia Walks Summit on June 17th in Macon. Georgia Bikes will host its sixth annual summit this Fall.