Hundreds of Cleveland residents have ditched their cars for bikes; Cyclists' safety growing concern

CLEVELAND - The number of cyclists pedaling through city streets has jumped more than 200 percent in the last decade, according to the city of Cleveland.

"Cycling is definitely on the rise," said Jenita McGowan, director of sustainability for the city.

McGowan said Cleveland was recently recognized as a bike-friendly city, and it's adding more bike lanes as crews repave streets over the next few years.

But as the number of cyclists increase, so does the potential for accidents.

"Both motorists and cyclists need to be aware," McGowan said. "Everyone needs to use their turn signal."

On Wednesday, the owner and chef of Greenhouse Tavern and Noodlecat restaurants downtown was hit by a RTA bus on his bicycle.

Jonathon Sawyer said on his Facebook page that he was not injured.

"There is an amazing cycling community that has been flourishing here in Cleveland over the past ten years, and they deserve to be safe," Sawyer wrote on Facebook.

"Whenever somebody is hit or injured or killed, it brings back to the forefront the need for education," said Jacob VanSickle, the executive director of Bike Cleveland, a non-profit advocacy organization.

VanSickle has also noticed the dramatic jump in the number of cyclists in Cleveland, and he urges his fellow two-wheelers to be safe.

"Be aware of what's happening around you," he said. "Always wear bright clothing, wear a helmet."

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