City of Kirksville to Sponsor Bike Safety Awareness Program

Common confusion over motorist, cyclist and pedestrian road rules and responsibilities is prompting the city of Kirksville to implement new awareness programs that will focus on bicycle/vehicle safety.

As its initial goal, the City will concentrate on reducing, and eventually eliminating, cycling traffic on sidewalks in the downtown area. Emblems will be painted on sidewalks and new signs will be posted around the downtown area to remind all of those who use public walkways that bicycles may only be ridden in permitted areas.

Kirksville Police Department (KPD) intends to promote an ongoing education campaign in the hopes that voluntary compliance with city ordinances will resolve safety issues. If safety concerns persist, KPD intends to begin enforcing the bicycle ordinances more stringently.   

Studies strongly suggest that riding a bicycle on the sidewalk, under most circumstances, actually puts a cyclist more at risk than the roadway. Cyclists should also consider the following: vehicles stopped at intersections expect pedestrians to enter the crosswalks, not someone on a speeding bicycle; bicycles, which are notoriously quiet, can collide with pedestrians or frighten them as they pass by; bicycles zipping down sidewalks are no match for a business door that opens suddenly in their path.

Future program objectives will focus on addressing aggressive drivers, bicycles at night without lights, bike registration, drivers who fail to yield to cyclists and cyclists who do not obey the rules of the road. Anyone interested in helping with this project with input on existing or upcoming efforts may contact officer Nick Panos, bicycle community project coordinator, at or by calling 660.785.6945.