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The Daily Tar Heel

Police: Drive, Bike Safely on Campus

Friday's accident led DPS to stress the importance of safety for pedestrians and cyclists on campus.

Chapel Hill resident John Farley was thrown from his bicycle and suffered minor injuries Friday after colliding with a vehicle just off of Raleigh Road.

Farley was traveling on the sidewalk when the vehicle was pulling out of the Chapel Hill Friends Meeting Place driveway at the same time.

The driver, Will Stanley, said he was not able to see Farley because of shrubs blocking his view.

Officer Wilbur Fike of the DPS Traffic and Pedestrian unit said Friday's incident demonstrated the need for drivers to pay more attention to their surroundings and for cyclists to avoid riding on sidewalks.

"Basically, drivers should always be alert, particularly looking out for pedestrians as well as cyclists," Fike said.

Fike works with a new campaign initiated by DPS at the end of August to raise awareness about pedestrian and bicyclist safety.

The campaign includes patrols at heavy campus intersections and educational presentations.

Fike said Friday's accident was unfortunate but that the situation does not indicate a flaw in the campaign's outreach. "Of course we don't want any accidents, but these kinds of things will happen," he said.

DPS has no intentions of slowing down the campaign, Fike said, and, if anything, the accident sets an example.

"We have to continue to work toward the goals we have," he said.

To prevent future incidents similar to last week's, Fike said bicyclists need to be responsible and stay off sidewalks.

"The risk of (a similar accident) happening is probably more than we know of," he said.

Fike said people who travel by bike might feel safer traveling on sidewalks than in the street, but reminded students that riding on sidewalks is against the law and poses extra dangers for pedestrians.

But students who frequently ride their bikes on pedestrian walkways say they will stick to their habits.

"I'd rather weave around pedestrians than around moving traffic," said sophomore Jeff Yau.

"Riding down the sidewalk, everything's in my control."

Freshman Kelsey Keeran said she would rather use the sidewalk because she doesn't have to worry about dodging motorists.

"You never know who's coming around the corner."

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