Good news of more bikers means courtesy is essential | PostIndependent.com

Good news of more bikers means courtesy is essential

Glenwood Springs Bicycle Advocates

Trail etiquette, courtesy and smart riding take on new importance now that some 300 bicyclists are using local trails and bicycle lanes each day. The big turnout of cyclists during the Grand Avenue bridge closure has a positive effect on all travelers, especially if riders are sensible and alert to others.

Courtesy equals safety

When riding on a shared path, trail, sidewalk or bridge, several basic protocols apply, all based on the fact that this is a shared travelway:

• Riders must always yield to pedestrians by slowing down or even stopping.

• Generally adjust cycling speed to match conditions — weather, wet surface, congestion of other travelers, etc.

• When overtaking any other trail user, audibly signal well before you pass; a bell or horn is best, but at least call out in a clear voice.

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• When passing, do so slowly and leave a wide berth to those you are passing; if travelers are coming from the opposite direction, wait for them to go by before passing.

• Always ride and walk to the right, venturing to the left only to carefully pass.

• If you stop along a trail, path or bridge, promptly move off to the side and be alert for other users on the move.

• Be alert, be courteous, be safe, be flexible, be patient.

Glenwood Springs' multiple bicycle travelways — including separated routes and regular streets — have multiple pinch-points and safety issues that need extra attention.

Dismount on Seventh Street near the downtown bicycle-pedestrian bridge

During reconstruction of the Grand Avenue bridge, Seventh is closed between Cooper and Colorado avenues. This normally is an excellent riding route, and it will be again one day. Meanwhile, adjustments are necessary.

All cyclists are required to dismount and walk when using downtown sidewalks, including the Seventh Street approach to the bicycle-ped bridge's elevator and stairway. Do not ride on the sidewalks on either side of Seventh.

The downtown sidewalks-dismount zone extends from Colorado to Cooper and Seventh to 10th. Bicycling is allowed on the streets in that zone, but not on the sidewalks.

RIVER TRAIL JUNCTIONS WITH 8TH

The number of cyclists on the River Trail has boomed since the Grand Avenue bridge closed. This new traffic volume magnifies the tricky congestion point where the trail passed under, and connects with, Eighth Street. This is an easy place to get hurt, thus a very good place to slow down and to be extra alert.

Two separate ramps connect Eighth to the River Trail, one from the south side of the street, one from the north side and Seventh. The north-side ramp to the trail is particularly steep and winding, with limited sight distance.

It is essential that all riders (actually all trail users) slow down and look carefully for crossing riders before passing that intersection. Cyclists should audibly signal every time they pass through — again, bells or horns are best.

The creativity, courtesy and sense of accommodation among Glenwood Springs residents are already becoming legendary since the bridge closed. Cyclists can perpetuate that atmosphere and sharpen the positive image of cycling as transportation with a few simple efforts.

Enjoy your ride.

Join Glenwood Springs Bicycle Advocates in riding and promoting local bicycle use. For more information, call 618-8264.

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