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Local Shopowner Calls for Change After Bike Collision

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“For the pain that I’m going through, I just wouldn’t want anybody else to have to go through that,” said Rory McDonald.

McDonald speaking about the death of his wife, 39-year-old Deborah Ambrose McDonald. She was killed as she walked out of Mama Lou’s Shrimp and BBQ restaurant in downtown Beloit.

She was hit by a speeding bicyclist. It’s now been three months since her death and local barbershop owner Rod Gottfredsen says nothing has changed.

“There’s too many that are just dangerously zooming by on their bicycles, many times I’ve seen them with their iPads in their hand and the earphone in their ear, only one hand on the handlebar,” said Gottfredsen. “I’ve even seen just recently one kid that went by no-handed.”

“I regularly see bikes zooming through lights, zooming through stop signs, cutting in and out of traffic,” said Resident Tracy Eggert.

Gottfredsen tallied how many people he saw during a two-week period riding their bikes on the sidewalk. He totaled 109 people on one side of the street and 58 on the other, averaging out to about 17 per day-all breaking the law.

“And, that’s only from what I’ve noticed,” said Gottfredsen.

He wants to see the problem solved.

“I’d like to see some kind of enforcement happen to make people aware,” said Gottfredsen. “Some signs would be nice, even though the signs will be out some people will do it anyhow, but some kind of enforcement.”

Even if the cyclists stick to the streets, Eggert says they need to ride more safely through this busy part of town.

“They have to take some responsibility for that,” said Eggert. “The car will always win. When you’re zipping around, flying through intersections and all of that just because you can, you run that risk.”

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