Bicycling on Charlotte streets tends to evoke two reactions.
Drivers moan when cyclists slow them down, and cyclists fear for their lives when forced to ride next to cars. Mixing bikes and cars in the same lane often makes bicycling in Charlotte unsafe. That combination is even more dangerous because bike awareness and safety gets little attention when drivers receive their license and when students take drivers ed in high school.
“It’s tiring to be on red alert when cycling,” said Eric Zaverl. He’s an avid bike rider who is former bicycle and pedestrian program coordinator for Sustain Charlotte, a nonprofit group that is advocating to make the city more accessible to cyclists and pedestrians.
Zaverl has cut back his bicycling after several near accidents. He’s concerned drivers are more distracted since the pandemic. “You have to pay attention every second unfortunately right now, just to be safe so you get home.”