The recent crashes involving motor vehicles and cyclists consisting of the seriously injured tandem cyclists in Lefthand Canyon and the fatality of 17 year-old Magnus White on Highway 119/The Diagonal have caused many people to ask Cyclists 4 Community (C4C) “what are we going to do?”
First of all, C4C refrains from fully commenting on such topics until official information about an incident is public and an investigation is complete. Crash investigation is an intensive process. The Boulder County DA convenes a serious bodily injury investigation in such cases. It’s a process that includes multiple agencies doing detailed work. C4C applauds this work.
C4C was founded in response to the 2013 floods and has evolved to its current mission, safer and better cycling through partnerships with Boulder County communities and governments focusing on infrastructure, policy, and outreach.
Adverse safety outcomes affect vulnerable road users such as cyclists and pedestrians disproportionately. These negative outcomes are a product of a lack of serious attention to education of drivers, poor policy, and insufficient multi-modal infrastructure in our nation.
Boulder County government is an engaged partner, not the problem. Boulder County is a beautiful place with a culture of outdoor activity including cycling. Boulder County’s government understands this and, accordingly, has one of the nation’s leading Transportation Master Plans. The TMP calls for a comprehensive approach including separated bikeways parallel to major commuter highways like the US 36 Boulder – Westminster path that acted as a proof-of-concept.
The planned path along Highway 119 between Boulder and Longmont is to be built to above standard criteria in terms of widths, turn radii, and underpasses. Boulder County is currently deliberating the adoption of those heightened standards to be the subsequent norm for hard surface path construction in a network of separated cycling facilities around the county.
The vast majority of serious injuries and fatalities are related to intoxication, distraction (devices), and excess speed. State Bill 23-011 sought to improve minor driver’s education requirements but failed to pass into law. C4C is accompanying Bicycle Colorado in an exploration of a re-introduction of a similar bill.
In the meantime, thanks in part to C4C’s supporters, Bicycle Colorado has introduced free online high quality education regarding the laws for sharing Colorado’s roads. It’s called SHIFT Driving. The intention is to make SHIFT Driving available as a phone based app in English and in Spanish and to continue to scale its use.
Additionally, for something like the ninth time, C4C will support Bicycle Colorado’s efforts to pass a “hands free device” bill that would legislate how drivers may use a device while driving.
C4C’s outreach consists of communicating with about 80 cycling related organizations in what C4C calls the Boulder County Cycling Community. At the same time, C4C engages in simple outreach programs to small, unincorporated communities in Boulder County usually in the form of paying for porta-potties or similar small projects. The intention is to improve relations between locals, drivers, and cyclists.