Department of Highways, District 10
Area motorists should be alert for bicycles next weekend as Pedals and Blooms Festival comes to the region June 9-10; Cyclists will hit the road in Estill, Lee, Menifee, Powell and Wolfe counties
JACKSON, KY. – (May 30, 2007) -- Motorists in five of the Department of Highways District 10's counties should be on the lookout next weekend for a influx of bicycles, as the Red River Gorge and surrounding region plays host to the second annual Pedals and Blooms Festival.
The event will combine street festivals with bicycle rallies and races through Estill, Lee, Menifee, Powell and Wolfe counties. The event will take place Thursday through Sunday, June 7-10. Bicycle races and related fun rides or rallies will take place on Saturday and Sunday, June 9-10.
In cooperation with the Southern and Eastern Kentucky Tourism Development Association (SEKTDA) and the office of U.S. Representative Hal Rogers, the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet last year installed "Share the Road" signs on routes in the five counties to be used by the bicyclists who attend and participate. These signs serve to remind drivers that bicycles are entitled to use Kentucky's highways as well as motor vehicles, and to encourage both bicyclists and motorists to be mindful of roadway safety.
The featured attraction along several of the bicycle rally and race routes is the Red River Gorge National Scenic Byway, which was designated an America's Byway in 2005 through the efforts of SEKTDA. This route includes the loop of KY 77, KY 715 and KY 15 through Powell, Menifee and Wolfe counties.
Motorists should be aware that they will encounter heavy bicycle traffic on the following highways:
· Estill County, KY 52 and KY 213.
· Lee County, KY 11 and KY 52.
· Menifee County, KY 77 and KY 715.
· Powell County, KY 11, KY 15, KY 77, KY 213, KY 599, KY 613 and KY 615, along with various streets in Stanton.
· Wolfe County, KY 11, KY 15 and KY 715.
During Saturday’s races, the loop of KY 77 and KY 715 through the Red River Gorge in Powell, Menifee and Wolfe counties will be closed to vehicular traffic. There will also be street closures in Stanton and Beattyville for various components of the festivals and race events.
To reduce the risk of accidents as the bicyclists take to the region's highways, drivers should heed the following safety tips:
· Drive cautiously. Reduce speed when encountering cyclists and recognize situations that may be potentially dangerous to cyclists and give them space.
· Yield to cyclists. Bicycles are considered vehicles and should be given the appropriate right of way. Cyclists may take the entire lane when hazards, road width or traffic speed dictate. Motorists should allow extra time for cyclists to traverse intersections.
· Be considerate. Scan for cyclists in traffic and at intersections. Do not blast your horn in close proximity to cyclists. Look for cyclists when opening doors into traffic.
· Pass with care. Avoid tailgating cyclists when following them. Leave at least three feet of space between your car and a cyclist. Wait until road and traffic conditions allow you to safely pass. Check over your shoulder after passing a cyclist before moving back to normal position.
In Kentucky, bicycles are prohibited from riding more than two abreast on streets and roads.
Information on the Pedals and Blooms Festival can be found at www.cyclethegorge.com or www.tourseky.com. Information on the festival, as well as road conditions on highways leading to the area, can also be obtained by calling 511. The Transportation Cabinet's mutimodal programs and policies, including safety tips, can be viewed at bikewalk.ky.gov.