Cyclists deal with aggressive drivers in Akron

AKRON, Ohio - For the past 45 years, Jeff Wable has been cycling throughout Northeast Ohio, and in that time, he’s seen the flow of traffic change.

“Drivers are getting more impatient, more aggressive," he said.

He and other cyclists in Akron say the intersection at West Market Street and South Hawkins Avenue is particularly problematic — in part, because of the confusion between cyclists and drivers — and they say it only gets worse as you head north.

“I try to pretty much not to ride on West Market Street," she said.

Cyclists say the few bike lanes currently in the city are hard to see so cars tend to overlook them.

“Technically as an adult, you’re not supposed to be on the sidewalk, I mean, but you don’t want to risk your life,” said Ryan Adams, another avid cyclist.

Last year, Akron had 43 crashes involving cyclists and Wable said he has been hit twice.

“You’re supposed to get three feet, they don’t give you three feet” he said.

So, when the city said they received a grant last week to study better methods hoping to make it a bike friendly place, Jeff was a bit skeptical.

“Ah, I'll take a wait and see approach," he said.

The nearly $130,000 grant is just for the city to do a study of trouble spots and best practices for cyclists and cars.

“Try to find the safest routes and then where the pedestrian bike lanes should be rather than just put the bicycle lanes on streets that really don’t mean anything,” said Lieutenant Richard Edwards with the Akron Police Department.

Others like Adams are hoping for the best.

Until the city makes road changes police advise both drivers and cyclists to be on the lookout for each other.

There is no set plan or date in place for any reconstruction.

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