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Cyclists Ride for River Road Victims, Bike Safety Awareness

By Roderick McClain

04-08-11 – Since 2008, three cyclists have been killed in car-related accidents along New Hanover County's River Road. The latest accident claimed the lives of a father and son in the midst of triathlon training and has sparked discussion.

David and Trey Doolittle were hit from behind by an impaired driver on a road that for decades has been the distance route of choice for local cyclists.

Wilmington cyclist Al Schrotel has called the area home since 1963 and is a member of the Cape Fear Cyclists. Years ago, he says, riding a bike in New Hanover County was different because there were fewer drivers and fewer cyclists.

"When you get out into Pender County or Brunswick County, things there are kinda like it was in 1963 in New Hanover County. There's plenty of room for everybody and nobody impedes anybody else. So the answer I think in New Hanover county has got to be, you know, a greater respect of each other's rights."

Some residents say the speed of traffic along this road makes it unfit for bike lanes, though others argue it's the safest route to Carolina Beach, Kure Beach, and the Southport ferry.

This Sunday at 11:00 AM there will be a memorial ride along River Road, beginning in the Murray Middle School parking lot.

Do you have insight or expertise on this topic? If so, we'd like to hear from you. Please email the WHQR News Team.