When cyclist Mark Jidov was killed by a car while cycling on Broadnax Mill Road on Nov. 1, it was taken hard by his family and friends. Not only because they were saddened by the loss of someone very special to them, but also because they believed it was something that could have been avoided.
According to Harvey Blanco of Lifetime Bikes Loganville, Broadnax Mill Road is used by hundreds of cyclists. He believes it would benefit both car drivers and cyclists if the road was either marked as a bike route or at least carried Share the Road signage.
“Broadnax Mill Road is not just used by cyclists from Loganville,” Blanco said. “It is also used by cyclists coming from Grayson headed to Walton County and other areas. There is a church group also that uses that road – they cross over at Loganville High School. One of the meeting points is over at Loganville First Baptist Church and then we all take Broadnax Mill to get to the other routes."
Blanco said at least 100 cyclists a week use Broadnax Mill Road, riding in groups of anywhere from five to 30 cyclists at a time. He and other cyclists who rode with Jidov have petitioned the county to get signs up in time for Jidov’s memorial service in Loganville on Dec. 4.
After finding out the correct procedure to follow from District 2 Commissioner Chuck Bagley, cyclist TaNisha Browne submitted a request to Walton County to have Broadnax Mill Road designated a Bike Route or at least carry Share the Road signage.
Ashley Cason with the county’s traffic operations department has responded to her request, saying it will be taken care of next week. However, at this point Browne is not sure if that will be Share the Road signage or if Broadnax Mill Road will be designated a Bike Route. Whichever system is used, cyclists are hopeful it will bring more awareness to their presence on the road and avoid future accidents like the one that cost Jidov his life.
Blanco said Bike Route signage would be preferable and if that costs more than Share the Road signs, he would be prepared to raise the funds to make up the difference. Browne said it is her understanding that there is a Tag grant for Share the Road signs, which includes lane markings. She said Lifetime Bikes Loganville, and Blanco personally, is a big supporter of cyclists in the area.
“Lifetime Bikes Loganville hosts an annual charity ride, donates to other cycling charity events in the state and is in the process of conjuring up some major community events to bring cyclists and the entire Loganville community together to remove the fear that both a driver and a cyclist may feel while sharing the road,” Browne said. “Lifetime Bikes Loganville really cultivates a refuge for many and strongly advocates this cause.”