Avon Lake considers improving bike lanes to make cycling safer after devastating accidents

Two cyclists were hit by cars earlier this year, one was killed, the other critically injured. The accidents have the city taking public input into what can be done to improve safety.

Avon Lake considers improving bike lanes to make cycling safer after devastating accidents

AVON LAKE, Ohio (WOIO) - Avon Lake held an open forum meeting to gauge community support for improving bike lanes in the city, especially as the number of cyclists rise.

In June, Randy Knilans was hit and killed as he rode his bike on Lake Road. His wife Patty was at the meeting supporting the city’s plan to improve the bike lanes.

“It has been a tough road but we’re doing really well,” Patty Knilans said. “I’ve got two great kids, and wonderful friends and family that have been completely supportive of us.”

Randy Knilans was a member of the zoning board and planning commission in Avon Lake and was a lifelong avid cyclist.

“It’s been a big part of my husband’s life and I think we shouldn’t be afraid to go out on the roads and travel in the same direction of cars,” Patty Knilans said.

Just weeks before Knilans was killed, Patty Banks, of Bay Village, was riding her bike in Avon Lake and was hit and critically injured by a driver who left the scene.

Banks is now healthy but not back to riding her bike, but she is running and appreciative that Avon Lake is looking into improving safety.

“I am healthy, blessed and grateful for the first responders who saved my life, and I am moving forward,” Banks said.

Avon Lake has been working with Lorain County, and through the city’s master plan, on connecting city bike paths with those in the county.

Mayor Gregory Zilka is hopeful the city rallies behind a plan to improve the existing bike lanes.

“It’s not only better for the environment it’s better for people’s health, so this is what we want to do,” Zilka said.

If there appears to be support among residents for improving the bike lanes the next step for the city would be to start looking to secure funding.

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