Originally appeared in the Fort Collins Coloradoan on November 6, 2013
Thanks to the Coloradoan for reporting on recent bike accidents. While some are caused by bad drivers and riders, I believe a pressing concern must also be the lack of continuous bike lanes in our town.
For instance, the bike lane on Drake Road between Lemay and College avenues completely disappears about a quarter mile in, only to pick up again after nearly a mile. This puts the cyclist out in the middle of a narrow two-lane road with nowhere to go. On Shields Street headed north, the bike lane ends at Laurel Street, making it unsafe to continue. Taft Hill Road has the bike lanes ending right before major intersections, such as College. Prospect Road has no bike lane at all through most of town.
In fact, the only major road I know with good bike lanes from start to finish is Timberline, too far from the center of town to be much help. The everyday riders I know must navigate their own safe routes, which often involve cutting and jogging through parks and side roads.
While recreational riders have some great rides, those of us with actual shopping, school and visiting destinations don’t have an adequate bike system. I’m not saying that providing it will rid us of all bike/car accidents, but it will make riders feel much safer and allow us to ride to destinations we will not ride to now. Let’s educate riders and drivers, but let’s also finish up what can be a great bike route system.
Eric Levine, Fort Collins