Cyclist Group Leader Speaks Out About Unsafe Bicycle Routes

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Updated: Tue, 29 Oct 2013 09:20:58 EST

The leader of a Middle Georgia bicycle group is speaking out about unsafe roads, two days after a bicyclist was hit and killed in Monroe County.

Jim Lidstone, the vice president of the Bicycle Club of Milledgeville says Highway 41 in Monroe County, is actually a state bicycle route, but he says you wouldn't know it by riding on it. He says there is no signage and no bike lanes on the highway, making the area somewhat dangerous.

It's the same road where Macon attorney Walter Leggett was killed riding his bike on Sunday.

Lidstone says he meets with a group of cyclists at a church parking lot about once a week to ride the state bike route on highway 41. The church is just up the road from where 61-year-old Leggett was killed Sunday afternoon hit by a car as he was trying to turn onto another road.

"It really hit home because I ride this road, and I'm about the same age, and just our heartfelt thoughts and prayers to the family," Lidstone said.

Lidstone says the state should take notice of Leggett's death. Even though he says Highway 41 and other roads in Middle Georgia are state bike routes, they are without proper signage or bike lanes to protect cyclists.

"It's kind of morbid, but I always carry my drivers license and my organ donor card," Lidstone said.

The Monroe County Sheriff's Office says Leggett, who practiced law in Macon, was turning onto Heritage Drive when he was struck by 78-year-old Ahmed Rasheed of Macon.

"It was all such a shock to us all and a fairly major tragedy for us here and I know for everybody else in Macon," said Tim Thompson, a friend of Leggett.

"Folks I've talked with in various courts have all just been heartbroken about the loss of Walter," said Sam Alderman, another of Legget's friends.

For Lidstone, he hopes the tragedy isn't for nothing, and the Department of Transportation will take notice.

"I'm hopeful that particularly with the state bike routes that when it comes time to repave this road that they will widen the road and put in some bike accommodations," Lidstone said.

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