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Posted on: November 15, 2021

Sharing Our Paths, Roadways and Trails

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It is no surprise that our multi-use trails, paths, and roadways are busier than ever. Whether you are trying to reduce your carbon footprint, get more exercise or just enjoying the great outdoors, with so many users, some using our roadways and trails for the first time, I wanted to share some thoughts on how we can all share the “road” etiquette; inform you on possible new legislation coming in 2022; and an update to our county bike plan.

Stay Safe!
 As an advocate for reducing one’s footprint and avid cyclist, I’m thrilled to see so many using our trail network but with crowds come safety concerns. We all - - cyclists, pedestrians, and motorists - - have a part in ensuring everyone has an enjoyable and safe journey. 

  • Cyclists, if the trails are busy, ride single file; slow down when approaching junctures, bridges, and other trail users; and don’t forget to signal to other trail users if you are going to turn or pass.
  • Pedestrians, please keep your dog on a leash; if you walk side by side, stay far enough right that somebody can pass you; and, if you cross the path, please look over your shoulder before you cross, a cyclist may be calling out that they are passing at the moment you decide to turn around.
  • Motorists, understand cyclists have the same rights as you; they also face unique safety challenges, such as being smaller and less visible; look for cyclists where vehicles do not appear, like before making a left-hand turn at an intersection; and, remember, state law requires at least 3 feet of space when passing a bicyclist, even when they are in a bike lane.

Statewide Efforts
 I’m proud to say that from a state-wide perspective, Colorado has taken steps, and will hopefully take additional steps soon to provide greater safety measures for pedestrians, bicyclists, police officers and other vulnerable road users.

Under Senate Bill 19-175, Colorado became the 10th state to enact legislation that defines vulnerable road users and sharpens the punishment for careless drivers who hurt them. Before it was signed into law, drivers could severely injure someone in a crash and receive just a four-point penalty on their license. Now, such an offense is a class-one traffic misdemeanor that could result in a license suspension, paying restitution to the victim and other penalties.

Additionally, come January, lawmakers will consider a bill that would allow people on bicycles and electric scooters to treat stop signs as yield signs and stoplights as stop signs - - otherwise known as the Safety Stop. Colorado’s Transportation Legislative Review Committee adopted a draft bill, with support from both Democrats and Republicans, and it will be introduced in the House next session. Under an existing 2018 law, local governments in Colorado can decide whether to allow the safety stop. Some cities already have, Englewood and Thornton to name a couple. 

Jeffco’s Bike Plan
I’m equally excited to say we are working on updating our Bike Plan (“Plan”) which was adopted by the Planning Commission in 2012. The Plan was designed to serve as a blueprint for making improvements to the county’s network with the goal of enhancing our multimodal transportation system. Since the adoption, industry standards and best practices have changed significantly therefore making our plan outdated. Coupled with the need and desire for greater mobility options, we’ve received a Transportation Improvement Program Grant which will allow us to update our Plan. To learn more about engagement opportunities visit our website at https://www.jeffco.us/2867/Bicycle-Plan-Update.

Thank you for your continued support and reach out anytime at [email protected] or 303-271-8503.
 

Andy

To learn more about the Jefferson County Commissioners, visit our website. The Board of County Commissioners’ public hearings are held on most Tuesdays at 8 a.m. Get more details here.

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