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Sharing the road in Saratoga Springs

Motorists in Saratoga Springs take notice: You are not alone.

As the track opens and the racing season descends upon Saratoga Springs and the population spikes accordingly those behind the wheel should keep a vigilant watch for those on foot and riding bicycles. That was the message put forth by the Saratoga Healthy Transportation Network on Saturday, July 26, as they observed the city's first Bicycle and Pedestrian Safety Day.

According to the group's treasurer, Joanne Klepetar, it's all about making sure motorists and bicyclists can both travel in peace.

"Our goal is to make the public aware that bicyclists exist, and they have to share the road with us," said Klepetar.

The group set up a booth at the Saratoga Farmer's Market for the day and were handing out brochures with tips on safe bicycling. Investigator John Kelly of the Saratoga Springs Police Department was also on hand to register bikes.

Kelly said the department registered 15 bikes on Saturday. Registration involves taking a small amount of personal information, affixing a sticker to the bike with a registration number and engraving that number on the underside. The engraving, especially, helps deter theft.

"When we see someone on a bike we don't think they should have, we stop it, and all we have to do is check the sticker number," said Kelly. "If it helps protect two or three bike owners, it's worth it."

Bike owners who missed registering their bike on Saturday can take their wheels to the police station after 3 p.m. to get the full treatment.

Officers were also handing out coupons for free ice cream. Kelly said that officers routinely hand out the coupons to kids who are wearing their helmets during the summer. Kids without helmets get a coupon toward buying a helmet.

"It's better to do positive reinforcement," rather than give a ticket, said Kelly.

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