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FW: New rules of the road for Colorado cyclists

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  • Roger Gray
    Don t shoot the messenger; attached FYI without comment . . . Roger H. Gray Pasadena, California, USA
    Message 1 of 1 , Jul 1, 2005
      Don't shoot the messenger; attached FYI without comment . . .

      Roger H. Gray
      Pasadena, California, USA


      Rocky Mountain News

      Dennis Schroeder C News

      Bicyclists ride into Boulder on U.S. 36 just north of the city on Monday.
      New rules for cyclists take effect Friday. Among other things, the rules
      will allow two cyclists to ride side by side as long as they don't impede
      traffic. New rules of the road for Colorado cyclists

      By Jolie Breeden, Rocky Mountain News
      June 29, 2005

      Colorado cyclists will see the fulfillment of long-sought changes in
      bicycle traffic regulations Friday, including the go-ahead to have a
      conversation while they ride side by side.

      On Friday, a new law takes effect replacing legislation that said bicycles
      were allowed on the road only single-file.

      The bicycle safety bill, signed June 3 by Gov. Bill Owens, allows
      bicyclists to ride two abreast, allows them to signal a right turn using
      their right arms, and pardons them from dismounting in a crosswalk.

      "The statutes were out of date," said the bill's Senate sponsor, Ron Tupa,
      D-Boulder. "The laws were really unreasonable in regards to what was
      happening out there."

      Many of the current laws are flouted by cyclists who often travel side by
      side or ride their bikes through crosswalks.

      Tupa, who called the bill's provisions "common-sense updates," said that
      may be caused by cyclists from out of state assuming laws here are similar
      to the rest of the country. Until now, they weren't.

      "Colorado had these unique laws that nobody else had," said Dan Grunig of
      Bicycle Colorado, a Denver-based organization that lobbied for the safety

      Colorado was one of only six states that required cyclists to ride
      single-file, and one of 28 states requiring that a right-turn signal be
      made with the left arm, according to a study by MIT professor Paul Schimek.

      Similar bills have been introduced at least three times in the past five
      years, Tupa said, but the timing just wasn't right. The growing number of
      people cycling for tourism, transportation and environmental reasons may
      have helped change that.

      "All our bike laws are written like they hated bicyclists," said Shellie
      Roy, of Aspen.

      Roy, who refers to herself as a pedestrian cyclist, was severely injured
      when she was hit by an SUV while riding her bike in a crosswalk. Since Roy
      was mounted on her bike, the motorist wasn't cited in the accident.

      Cyclists may find the new rules to be an improvement, but the effects on
      law enforcement officials are still unclear.

      "It remains to be seen how it will play out," said James Burrus, spokesman
      for Boulder County. "I think the real big element on the (two abreast rule)
      will be the impeding of traffic."

      Burrus said Boulder County has been increasing the size of road shoulders
      to keep cyclists safe.

      "As long as cyclists keep in mind that there are vehicles out on the road,
      any courtesy they extend helps the overall motorist-cyclist relationship,"
      Burrus said. "And the same goes for motorists, too. Any courtesy helps."

      New bike rules

      Features of the bicycle safety law, which goes into effect Friday:

      . Riding abreast: Two cyclists will be allowed to ride side by side, as
      long as they don't impede traffic.

      . New signal: Right-hand turns may be signaled by extending the right arm,
      but the traditional crooked-left-arm signal will still be valid, too.

      . Pedestrian rights: Cyclists on sidewalks and crosswalks (where allowed by
      local ordinances) will be accorded the same rights as pedestrians. However,
      pedestrians still have the right of way over bikes.

      . Police reports: Police will file an accident report for bicyclists upon
      request, even when no motor vehicle is involved.

      Copyright 2005, Rocky Mountain News. All Rights Reserved.


      Other bicycling information:
      Bike maps

      Bicycle Master Plan:

      Bicycle Parking:
      Na Kama Hele - advocacy for traditional forms of travel
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