Chattahoochee Valley striving to become more bike-friendly after Phenix City accident

Chattahoochee Valley striving to become more bike-friendly after Phenix City accident

PHENIX CITY, AL (WTVM) - Nearly a week ago, 26-year-old Sean Rey of Phenix City was riding his bike to work for his 6 a.m. shift at the Chevron on Summerville Road when he was hit by not one, but two cars.

Rey remains in critical condition at Midtown Medical Center, but his story has prompted the valley to strive to become a more bicycle-friendly community.

"There are not any designated bike lanes right now. That is being incorporated in the city's development plan, but there are no designated bike lanes as of right now and there we no designated bike lanes on Summerville Road where this collision occurred," explains Captain Jim Hart of the Phenix City Police Department.

According to state law, in Georgia and Alabama you must wear a helmet under the age of 16, and you must use a white light on the front of the bike and a red reflector on the back of the bike when riding in the dark.

Bikes are also not permitted on sidewalks.

However, only in Georgia are drivers permitted to use a safe distance when passing drivers which is no less than three feet.

"The state law basically instructs bicycle riders, while they have the right to be on the road, they are also expected to abide by the same rules of the motor vehicle," says Hart.

In light of Rey's tragic accident, residents are working with city officials to make sure more signs are put up around the city, urging drivers to be cautious.

"The only bike lane we have anywhere close to Phenix City is the Dillingham Street Bridge and that was trying to make a safer route to get from RiverWalk to RiverWalk. It is all the same community so anything we can do to educate the motorists and cyclist the better," explains Jason McKenzie of Ride on Bikes.

McKenzie is a part of the group Bicycle Columbus that meets once of month with the planning department a local authorities.

"I feel like our community is ready for this change and if we can make it more cycling friendly then we will be a healthier community and safer community all the way around," says McKenzie.

The first vehicle who hit Sean stopped to help last Thursday; however, the second vehicle fled the scene.

The car is described as a red or maroon sedan and if you have any information please contact the Phenix City Police department at (334) 298-0611.

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