Monday, June 21, 2010

Cyclist Killed in Little Rock

On Sunday morning, Marilyn Fulper Smith was killed while crossing an intersection with the signal on a bicycle. According to witnesses, the driver of the vehicle ran a red light and struck the cyclist. The cyclist was crossing over Cantrell Road toward River Mountain Road. The driver was west bound on Cantrell. In the police report, the driver stated that she never saw the bicycle. Obviously, she didn't see the red light either.

I didn't know Marilyn, but her death saddens and angers me. I cross that intersection on my bicycle at least 3 or 4 times a week as do countless other people on their way to Little Rock's River Trail. River Mountain Road, the road toward which the cyclist was heading, is the farthest road west that leads to the River Trail on the south side.

View of the Arkansas River from River Mountain Road

The River Trail system runs along the northern and southern shores of the Arkansas River connected by "Big Dam Bridge" a pedestrian and cycling only bridge. Another bridge is currently under construction to connect the south side of the River Trail to Two Rivers Park and there are plans for another north-south connector bridge near the Clinton Presidential Library in downtown.

It is a wonderful place to ride a bike, walk or run. So many people use the trail for exercise, dog-walking, bird watching, fishing, foraging for wild fruits or just to enjoy a beautiful day. It is something I really love about Little Rock.

I'm sure Marilyn was on her way to get a good ride in, maybe a hard training ride, maybe a ride simply for pleasure. Tragically, her ride and her life were cut short by a distracted driver. Her and her family are in my thoughts today.

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