County Finalizes Lefthand Canyon's Plan

Looks like the county finalized their plan to reduce cyclist vs car tension in the Boulder Canyons, primarily Lefthand Canyon. Not much new to report from when we last reported on the Lefthand Canyon's Workgroup. For those who have not been following this story the county has created a workgroup consisting of residents (both cyclist and not) of Jamestown and Lefthand Canyon and cyclist from the Boulder Community to come together and discuss the problems at hand and possible solutions. We attended the workgroup's presentation about a month ago and we were VERY surprised by the level of tension in the group and it's negative attitude towards cyclist, below are a list of common complaints heard that evening
  • 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

It was clear that many folks won't be every satisfied until every cyclist is gone and probably even population reduction takes place. However it is the belief of many that the list of improvements will make a different but as the person quoted int the Daily Camera story, "But it will be up to each and every one of us that use the canyons to reduce the tensions."

Official County Plan for Canyon Roads

List of Improvements

Place a temporary restroom facility at mile marker 11 in Lefthand Canyon to cut down on public urination and the use of facilities in Ward and Jamestown.

Install asphalt barriers by driveways to prevent runoff of dirt and gravel onto the main road.

Create paved bicycle pullouts to give cyclists a place to rest and congregate out of the stream of traffic.

Put up signs aimed at both cars and bikes to remind both parties of good etiquette. Signs might remind drivers to share the road or request that cyclists ride single file for a designated distance.

Add more bike racks in Jamestown and pullout for bicycle parking across from the fire station.

Increase patrols by sheriff's deputies on busy weekends and have some of those patrols conducted on bikes.

News Item: 


Seems reasonable, but I doubt it will help

I ride Left Hand Canyon a few times a year, since I live across the metro area I have to drive up to Boulder if I want to ride the area. I know it is a crowded area and can see how bikers can be frustrating to drivers. Even though I am an avid cyclist, (I get about 14hrs/wk on the bike during warm weather and like to compete in races when I can) when I come up behind a group of cyclists while I am driving I get nervous and sometimes feel they are taking up more road than they should. They may be in fact within their legal right of way, but still since I drive a truck it really makes the road seem a lot narrower.

Without reading the details it seems the listed improvements seem reasonable, and probably benefit the cyclist more than the driver. However, a lot of the issues are around courtesy, respect, and common sense, for all parties involved. These are things that cannot be taught or enforced, but hopefully the improvements will get people thinking about others rather than just themselves.

Just think how self centered many people are when you are doing your holiday shopping. How many people will block your path in the store, step in front of you, knock into you, pretend you are not there? How often do you do the same? This is no different then what happens on the road.

Someone wrote something to the effect: "Treat bikers as if they are your son or daughter, treat every automobile as an emergency vehicle transporting your son or daughter to the hospital".

At the end of the day, it is unusual for the driver to suffer much consequence if they injure a cyclist, yet a cyclist faces severe injury or death in even the slightest incident with an automobile. So it is up to us cyclists to be the better person, we will loose every face off with every automobile.

I think with to current modern societal behaviors where it is every man for themselves and screw everyone else because they are in the way, new laws and rules will likely inflame people more than it helps solve the problem.

My 2 cents...