Bike coordinator hit on ride-bike-to-work day

Friday , May 16, 2014 - 5:33 PM

OGDEN — After escaping a crash with a car relatively unharmed, Josh Jones hopes his ironic Friday morning cycling adventure will serve as an educational tool for both cyclists and motorists alike.

Jones was struck by a car as he biked to work on Friday — which of all days, also happened to be National Bike to Work Day — at the corner of Jackson Avenue and 28th Street. Both streets are designated bike routes in Ogden City.

Jones works for Ogden City and coordinates many of the city’s cycling events and initiatives. Under the direction of Mayor Mike Caldwell, the city is positioning itself as a premiere cycling city by recruiting bike companies to open businesses here, sponsoring cycling events throughout the year and expanding the city’s cycling infrastructure.

Jones spearheads many of those initiatives and has cycled for years. He rides his bike to his office at the Ogden Municipal Building nearly every day.

He was hit by a motorist who had stopped at a stop sign, but then failed to yield Jones the right of way.

"(A woman) had just stopped at a stop sign, but as she started to drive through, she just didn’t see me coming at all,“ Jones said. ”But once she realized she hit me, she stopped immediately and came back to me. She felt horrible.“

Jones said he was able to use his hand to brace himself as he was hit by the car, but he was still knocked from his bike. He suffered some road rash, but avoided any serious injury.

"It’s the second time I’ve been hit in this same kind of scenario in the past few years,” Jones said. 

On Friday, Jones was decked out in safety gear and paying close attention to his surroundings, but he said some accidents are simply unavoidable.

"The takeaway from all of this is to be as careful as you can be at all times,” he said. “Because you never know what another roadway user might do.”

Jones said Ogden City police and fire departments both responded to the incident within minutes.

He stressed the importance of reporting bike versus vehicle accidents, even if no injuries take place. He said the crash statistics that come from reported accidents help roadway planners to make informed decisions.

"A lot of people might get hit and say, ’Hey there was no harm done, so what’s the point?’“ he said. ”But if you’re in an accident, it needs to be reported because that information can be used to improve things.“

Jones also stressed that like cyclists, motorists also have a responsibility to be aware of their surroundings and free from distraction.

"It’s pretty simple, but if everyone on the road is paying attention, a lot of these accidents can be avoided,“ he said.

Contact reporter Mitch Shaw at 801-625-4233 or mishaw@standard.net. Follow him on Twitter at @mitchshaw23.

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