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Kalamazoo considers changes to bike rules after deadly accident

Sep 7, 2016

Bicyclists in Kalamazoo are asking city leaders to adopt local laws to help safeguard them against drivers.

The push came after a man struck nine people riding bikes just north of Kalamazoo back in June. 

Charles Pickett Jr. allegedly took prescription drugs before the crash, killing five and injuring four other bicyclists.

Last night city commissioners adopted some policy changes to redesign safer streets, but a vote on a more controversial measure was delayed. That change would require drivers who want to pass bicycles on the street to give riders a five-foot-wide passing zone.

City staff say the rule would be hard to enforce on some narrower streets in the city, especially those with on-street parking.

Grand Rapids passed a similar ordinance last year. There is no statewide standard, although a bill was introduced in the House last fall.