March 9, 2009

Colorado: Bicycle Safety Bill, other bike-friendly measures. Call your State Senator!

Having been hit on my bike by a car a few weeks ago, and having failed to get the driver’s info, and finding myself still in daily pain though I was, all-in-all, unscathed—I suddenly find myself thinking about bike lanes everywhere I go. Why do so many streets prioritze parking over bike lanes, when half the parking spots are empty anyways? I understand the need for parking in retail areas, and high-density areas…but once you start looking, it’s hard to see cyclists as receiving anything less than third-class (cars, then pedestrians with their sidewalks, then bikes with their bikelanes or streets/sidewalks, neither of which is safe) treatment. 

The below excerpt, via Gary Koenig of the Colorado Examiner, is relevant only to Coloradoans: 

…Let’s start with the Bicycle Safety Bill. This initiative has already handily passed in the Colorado Senate, but there are powerful special interests who still hope to derail or defang it. The House Transportation Committee will take up the House version of this bill in the week or so. Now is the time to let your state representative know how important you think this bill is to your safety. For a list of the members of the House Transportation Committee,check here. If you don’t live in one of these districts, please hold your comments until the measure gets to the floor of the House. At that time, it will be critical for each of us to contact our State Reps…

..The Colorado Department of Transportation has published a list of potential projects, but only a few of them seem to have any specific benefits for bicyclists. Among those that appear to be worth a mention:

• State Highway 9 between Valley Brook and Coyne Valley in Breckenridge (Summit County)- widens SH 9 to two lanes in each direction and constructs a new pedestrian bridge and a retaining wall. The project will also relocate a bike path and improve drainage.
• US 85 between Titan Road and Cook Ranch in Douglas County- Widens one mile of US 85 to two lanes in each direction with shoulders and a raised median with controlled access. The existing roadway is only one lane in each direction with no shoulders.
• I-25 through Trinidad in Las Animas County- Reconstructs an on and off-ramp and the walls necessary to accommodate a bicycle/pedestrian trail.
• Woodmen Road East of I-25 in El Paso County- Widens Woodmen Road and constructs a new interchange at Academy Blvd. including construction of sidewalks and a bike path.
• State Highway 13 at Rio Blanco Hill in Rio Blanco County- Reconstructs five miles of SH 13 in asphalt, adds eight foot shoulders and climbing and passing lanes. The improvements will enhance recreational bicycling in this area.
• State Highway 92 from Austin to Hotchkiss in Delta County- Reconstructs five miles of SH 92 in asphalt and adds passing lanes and shoulders to improve recreational bicycling.
• I-70B (locally known as Highway 6 and 50) near Grand Junction in Mesa County- Increases capacity by adding one lane in each direction from 24 Road to 25 Road and adds turn lanes at the intersections. Enhances pedestrian and bicycle mobility and safety by connecting with the City of Grand Junction’s trail system.
• US 36 between Estes Park and Lyons in Boulder and Larimer Counties- Chip seals 22 miles of US 36 to improve the roadway surface condition.
• US 36 at Broadway in Boulder (Boulder County)- Installs a new traffic signal at this intersection.
• C-470 Bike Path in Douglas and Jefferson Counties- Rehabilitates the C-470 bike path between I-70 and I-25.

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