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How an LCI in Nebraska is making the roads a little more friendly for everyone

This weekend, nearly 500 people on bikes will stop over in Scottsbluff during the Tour de Nebraska, a five-day supported ride around the state. “Our community is not very bike-y yet, so I figured this influx [of bicyclists] would catch people off-guard” said Katie Bradshaw, a local League Cycling Instructor. 

Katie Bradshaw bikes with pool noodle

Knowing the tour was headed for her town, and that cyclists would be present on many smaller rural roads throughout Nebraska, Bradshaw realized the weeks leading up to the event were a perfect time to offer Bicycle Friendly Driver training in Scottsbluff. 

Bradshaw worked with her community to offer two Bicycle Friendly Driver trainings at local libraries, utilizing the resources available to her through the LCI portal. Word about the trainings reached much farther than the classes at the libraries: news about the training was picked up by her local TV station and aired as one of the top stories and Bradshaw was able to share tips about how drivers and bicyclists can safely share the road. 

“Scottsbluff is a smaller rural city and I find the people here are very receptive to driving tips,” she said.

In addition to the local TV station, Bradshaw’s efforts were also highlighted in a local newspaper which dedicated two pages in its Sunday paper to the subject of “sharing the road” and presented an online video slideshow on the topic.

“I appreciate how the Bicycle Friendly Driver training focuses on how both parties, the person in the motorized vehicle and the person on the bike, can take actions to prevent or reduce the severity of crashes,” Bradshaw said. “The message that both parties have a role to play in safely sharing the road is an easy one to sell, because neither party is ‘the bad guy.’”

One student from Bradshaw’s class traveled to Fort Collins, CO shortly after the Bicycle Friendly Driver training and reported that upon encountering a bike box, “I now knew what to do!” 

Learn how to bring the League’s Bicycle Friendly Driver program to your town.

Photo via Maunette Loeks/Star-Herald