Miner Editorial | It’s prudent to protect our guests

The traveling and summer vacation season has begun with plans being made to bring visitors into our homes at one time or another.

When we have folks over to our places, it is understood we’re responsible for our visitors’ health, safety, and the most precious gift of all, their lives.

Kingman wants, and needs, tourists to come to our town. The bottom line is we want them to spend their money at our hotels, establishments, and stores. Tourism is a key component of our economy, and we need to protect it.

By wanting and needing tourism to move our local economy along, we are inviting those who don’t live here to our fine city – into our collective home, if you will. We have a responsibility to be sure their welfare is secured while they are here.

The Daily Miner editorial board is concerned our city government and the community at-large are not doing all that should be done in securing the safety of one tourist-population segment that comes to our town – the bicyclists.

This issue came to the forefront when Stefan Ganster, 40, of Austria, was seriously injured in the 1200 block of West Beale Street when a 2000 Dodge pickup driven by a 59-year-old Chloride man struck the bicyclist, causing him to be thrown from his bike on April 5. Ganster died days later from his injuries.

Route 66 author and Kingman ambassador Jim Hinckley has done an outstanding job luring European tourists to not only experience the Mother Road, but he has made certain they enjoy the Kingman portion of it.

The European tourists are used to riding bicycles back home, and Kingman looks inviting to do the same.

Bicycling is an aspect of our tourism industry that could easily be taken advantage of here. It doesn’t take much imagination to see an entrepreneurial spirit arriving downtown and bringing visitors to Kingman to enjoy our home on the wheels of bicycles to enjoy the views, trails and nostalgic setting.

First, we need to ensure this type of activity is safe.

As a commuity, we need to do our part and understand the rules of the road. It is imperative to comprehend that bicycles are allowed on our roads and give riders the respect necessary to ensure everyone’s safety. This means sometimes we need to slow down behind a bicycle while waiting for traffic moving in the opposite direction to clear so we can move out and away from the bicycle for safe clearance to pass it.

The Daily Miner understands there are many issues facing the City. The infrastructure, especially our streets, needs to be improved and that isn’t a cheap endeavor. On top of it, our City Council braved citizen backlash to raise the TPT tax (sales tax) to put an additional $3.1 million per year into the budget for streets. Those dollars are in jeopardy with a movement to put the one-half cent increase on a ballot and take incremental taxing power from Council.

The City is also having to deal with establishing a job-based economy and gearing up to take control of Kingman Airport and Industrial Park.

Making bicycling safe in Kingman should also be a priority. A network of bike lanes throughout our city needs to be established.

The north-south roadways of Stockton Hill Road, Andy Devine Avenue, Bank Street, Harrison Street-Willow Road, and Western Avenue need to have bike lanes from start to finish.

East-west arteries Hualapai Mountain Road, Airway Avenue, and Gordon Drive must have the lanes as well.

When our bicycling friends come to visit, we must do our part to keep them safe.