Tension at Lefthand Canyon Workgroup presentation




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!

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9 Comments

Canyons Working Group Meeting

I attended the meeting and while there were some moments that were
emotionally charged, overall I think it was a positive effort and opened
eyes on both sides as they found a bit of common ground. While the group
plans to implement their ideas in 2010, there is no reason for those of us
cycling in the canyons can't start today. Displaying respect for other
users of the canyon seems to be the key, based on comments last night and
comments I have been reading online over the last few months. Courtesy,
courtesy, courtesy. Respect other canyon users. Do your best to not
impede traffic. Ride single file in the presence of traffic in the
canyons, especially in curves. Be discreet when answering the call of
nature. At common gathering spots, such as the Merc in Jamestown, keep in
mind that there are people enjoying time with their friends and family
eating at the Merc. They don't need to see or hear a cyclist hocking up a
big green one as they dine or enjoy a beverage on the deck. I could go on,
but common sense and courtesy are the keys. The sooner we focus on
displaying same the sooner the tensions will diminish. I live in the
canyon and have been involved in cycling all of my adult life. Most
cyclists I observe in the canyon are already on board with exemplary
behavior, but enough are not, such that I'm reluctant to mention to my
neighbors that I'm a cyclist. A minority of cyclists who are either
ignorant or arrogant are making it difficult for the rest of us, especially
those of us involved in trying to east the tension and make using the
canyons safer and more enjoyable for all users. Think while you ride. Your actions reflect upon all of us, make it a positive one.

Good start

Working together for an amicable solution is the only course we can take. Please keep posting on these meetings and let us know when the next one will be. Need to get cycling groups/clubs/shops and advocacy groups fully involved as well. This could be a great way to show non cyclists that we cyclists do really care and will step up if/when needed.

I hope that maybe a bad day

I hope that maybe a bad day at work or a few beers is the explanation your inappropriate comment.

You should step out of your "me" bubble and consider the fact that many of the folks living in the canyon not only dont ride but may make less in one month than the dough you forked out for your shiny bike and racing kit.

be smart
be safe
and most of all..

be considerate.

Remember...It only takes a few bad apples to ruin the harvest.

Port-O-Pottie in Jamestown

Kris,
Not sure who to contact, but our club, Swift Cycling, is willing help pay for a Port-O-Pottie in Jamestown for the summer months. We talked to people at the Merc but they didn't quite know who to go to since Jamestown is a loose community. If funding comes up at the meetings let them know that some of the local clubs are willing to help put money up for it.

Keep up the info on the meetings for us that can't make it.

Stephen
Swift Cycling Club and Team

I think lots of cyclists

I think lots of cyclists would be willing to "tip" at a portable bathroom in Jamestown, much like tips are highly recommended at the Ward and Raymond stores to get water. If you put it in a place where the cyclists always pass by on the road into town, I think a lot of people would chip in a bit when they use it, I know I would. Just yesterday I was actually in Jamestown when a cyclist asked me where the bathroom was, and I couldn't tell him, because there really isn't one for cyclists.

video thought

The presentation mentions a video talking about bike etiquette etc - sounds like a great thing to hit Mat Barlow up from Bikes Belong. He's got some great cycling videos of his own and has done some good ones for Bikes Belong as well. I don't know him or if he is interested, just an internet fan.

Boulder area workshop meeting

It is very unfortunate the large and predominate bicycle clubs in the Boulder area did not have a better representation at this meeting. As a long time cyclists and frequent solo rider of the canyon I'm applaud to heard of some of the things cyclists are doing which have aggravated the situation. But then again, maybe the clubs would not like hearing of some of the things their members are doing which have help create such a hostile environment.