Bicycle Advocates column: Wave of drivers’ courtesy is boosting bicycling
The renewed bicycling season is in full swing in Glenwood Springs, and courteous, attentive drivers are doing a lot to make it work.
Several hundred cyclists are now out on the paths and streets every day — traveling to work, shopping, meetings, errands — and that provides a new dynamic in local traffic movement.
Riders are noticing a positive response from many car drivers, creating a safer interactive among all local travelers. Glenwood Springs has become uniquely friendly to bicycling.
Carefully watching for bicycles, yielding at intersections and trail crossings, slowing down to pass, obeying traffic signals and stopping short of crosswalks — dozens of small gestures and actions by drivers have abounded so far this spring, as drivers and cyclists get along admirably.
A few basic driver tips for extending this trend of courtesies and successes include:
• When arriving at intersections, stop outside crosswalks and trail connections.
• Park and drive outside of marked bicycle lanes — on Blake, Pitkin, South Midland and Donegan.
• Look back before opening car door when parked along a bicycle lane.
• Fully stop at intersections before making a right turn on red — look carefully for cyclists before turning.
• Be particularly attentive at the very busy intersection of 27th & Glen Avenue, where many bicyclists traveling the Rio Grande Trail combine with multiple car movements; obey the no-right-turn signal when flashing.
• Be particularly attentive at 23rd & Grand Avenue, where five separate bicycle routes converge at the intersection.
• Watch for bicycles at popular destinations with jumbled traffic and parking lots — grocery stores, post office, schools, shopping malls, parks, Hot Springs Pool, all of downtown.
Corresponding tips for cyclists include:
• Be constantly aware of traffic around you; anticipate drivers’ moves, including the unexpected.
• Be sure drivers are aware of you and are yielding before passing through busy intersections.
• Obey traffic signals, crossing with green lights or crosswalk lights only after being sure doing so is safe.
• Ride predictably and safely; signal your turns.
• Politely wave, smile, and otherwise acknowledge courtesy and safe actions by drivers.
Drivers realize that every cyclist represents a car that is not part of traffic congestion. Cyclists know they are contributing to better traffic flow. Together, all travelers improve local travel.
Enjoy your ride.
Join Glenwood Springs Bicycle Advocates in riding and promoting local bicycle use. For more information, call 618-8264, or write email@example.com.
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Marti Barbour was selected almost 20 years ago as the first recipient of a Habitat For Humanity house in the Roaring Fork Valley. She paid off her mortgage in June and recalled the dire times her family faced and the help that Habitat provided.