CARMEL, Ind. -- A bicyclist who collided with a truck on the new protected bike path near Rangeline Road in Carmel is sharing his concerns about the new city improvement and how both drivers and bicyclists can work together to make the road safer.
The protected bike path has north and southbound lanes for bicyclists to use in the area, but many drive and bike down that road seem to be confused about exactly how they’re used.
Matt Stone says he bikes to work in Carmel every day, and he just started using the protected bike path along Rangeline Road – hoping it would make his trip safer – especially with the metal planters placed as a barrier between the two lanes.
But that wasn’t the case Monday morning when Stone says he was involved in a crash where there’s an opening for a business.
“I didn’t have time to react, I tried making a sharp turn,” said Stone.
Along that path are areas painted green that signify where drivers are pulling into businesses. Stone’s crash happened in one of those zones.
“I have a road bike that can do sharp turns. That’s when the collision occurred. My bike hit the car, I fell onto the ground and my back was on the concrete.”
Stone was taken to the hospital with minor injuries, but he says the incident has him shaken up and he’s concerned about his safety and the safety of other cyclists using that protected bike path.
“I just believe this type of bike lane, particularly for the northbound traffic… this lane gives you a false sense of security,” said Stone.
Lt. Joe Bickel with Carmel Police Department says drivers are always expected to yield to bicyclists if they are trying to make a right-hand turn.
“If they see a bicyclist, they must yield to those bicyclists,” said Lt. Bickel. “Just be aware of their surroundings when they are operating their vehicle.”
Carmel police say drivers also need to make sure they have enough time to pull in front of cyclists before making a turn.
The driver involved in the crash with Stone admitted he was at fault. Police are encouraging drivers to use caution and be aware of their surroundings when traveling on Rangeline Road or near any bike paths in the city.