Boulder County Transportation along with the Boulder County Sheriff's office is really working hard to get some good ideas out of the Motorist & Cyclist workgroup, in attendance at the meeting were 3 officers there INCLUDING Sheriff Pelle himself along with a representative from the country transportation. The work group mediators did a fantastic job at running a professional discussion. Boulder Cycling Club had a few representatives along with 1 from Bicycle Colorado but the majority of the folks in the room were angry canyon residents. Before the question started a motorist who was in the workgroup stood up and explained how well the participants worked together (both cyclist and motorist) in trying to come up with some solutions. That message was made again later in the night by another motorist who was a part of the group. As questions were being taken one could really feel some of the frustrations they have with motorist like...
- cyclist riding at dusk with no lights or reflective clothing
- Loud conversational talking as riders enter Jamestown in the morning
- High number of cycling events in the canyon
- Lots of complaints about the new Bike Safety Law (think poor PR for cyclist)
- Use of cowbells for participants finishing a event one morning in Jamestown
- Team/group rides that sometimes include a team car
There were a few more comments but they were not constructive. The sheriff also spoke to the crowd about the new bike safety law and the difficulty at enforcing it. There department is working with the Boulder DA to get an amendment added requiring single file in dangerous sections of the road. This would only apply to short sections like couple hundred yards.
It was clear cyclist were out numbered at the meeting and knowing that I had showed up with my bike in the back of my truck made me very concerned if would have inflated tires to return to after the meeting.... folks it was tense there! But it appears the workgroup is going a great job to come up with some possible solutions like
- Paved pullouts on the road where cyclist can group up and not be spilling out into the road
- Restrooms in Jamestown
- bike racks in Ward (Ward wants that too)
- Welcome sign at canyon base to ask everyone to be mindful in sharing the road
- Ambassadors at the base of the canyon to help educate riders
- Other outlets for cycling education
There was a very confusing mood from the mountain residents is that 1. they were very frustrated and 2 they didn't want any of the suggested amenities to be added to their roads or towns.... in a sense they were after the status quo minus the cyclist. It was also their belief that many of these amenities were for the cyclist, like the restrooms... but with out the restrooms then it is status quo... that that they don't like either... hmm were do you go from here?
Bottom line is beaware of your behavior in the canyon, of course we know urinating in public is bad so try to avoid it however there are things that we may not be aware of like loud conversations very early in the morning as you enter town or like doing the "farmers blow" within the city limit.
More to come as this workgroup progresses and Please comment on this! We can't turn a blind eye to this!