Proposed 8mph for cyclists in crosswalks going to a vote soon


Crosswalk at Folsom and Walnut

The proposed 8mph for cyclists in Crosswalks is coming to a vote soon. The proposal will require cyclists to activate a flashing signal if one exists and to not exceed 8mph. According to officials this proposal is needed due to so many accidents related to cyclists in the traffic features. According to the Daily Camera article linked below, Dan Grunig of Bicycle Colorado fears liability falling onto the hands of the cyclist if involved in an accident while in these traffic features. Comments from our press release of this a few months ago stated the problem of few cyclists knowing exactly what their speed is at any given time since few have odometers on their bike

From the Daily Camera

Cowern said a disproportionate number of accidents at the city's 15 flashing crosswalks involve bicycles, and Boulder needs to adopt regulations that speak directly to the city's large cycling population.

In a study conducted a few years ago, the city found that in 70 percent of accidents when a person was hit crossing at a flashing crosswalk, a bicycle was involved. That, the study concluded, was despite the fact that less than half the crossing activity was bicycle-related.

The City Council is scheduled to vote on the motion on a first reading Tuesday. Public discussion and a final vote on the measure would occur at a later date.

Read the rest at Daily Camera

Let's Talk about this

Is this new amendment needed? What is the core problem here? I can imagine some saying 8mph is way to slow, what do you propose, 15mph? Why are cyclists on sidewalks? Will this new law affect you?

With my own personal knowledge of these traffic features the biggest problem spot I am aware of (not sure if this matches to accident reports though) would be Walnut and Folsom, here you have a street not a sidewalk that intersects with the 4 lane roadway and the lights activate automatically. Here I've seen cyclists easily blow through this intersection as they hold nearly the same speed as they had on Walnut but on the flipside for law abiding cyclists this flashing sign crossing is a nightmare at any speed mostly due to the street have 2 lanes of on coming traffic to deal with.

My big concern is are they shifting the problem seen at these intersections from the driver to the cyclists? There is no doubt plenty of as#hats out there especially around the hill area but are these accidents happening because the drivers are not being attentive at these intersections? When I travel through these intersections I'm certain I'm near or below the 8mph proposed and still inattentive drivers AND drivers unwilling to give the right away are a problem... and will remain a problem AT ANY SPEED. IMO drivers not giving the right away to cyclists OR those drivers SURPRISED by the driver in front of them for giving the cyclists the right away IS a big problem. Number of times I've seen drivers behind law abiding drivers slam on their brakes "because the as#hat driver stopped for the cyclist or pedestrian in the crosswalk"

News Item: 

4 Comments

Good point, where in Boulder is this a problem

You're right, where besides the intersection in the photo is this a problem? Every interesction I can think of with flashing lights is connected to a sidewalk so speeds should already be near the proposed limit. And why would a cyclist want to go through the intersection if traffic is present at higher speeds like 15mph? No traffic is present I understand but how quickly can a cyclist approach the intersection at say 15, scan that there is no traffic concerns and proceed at 15mph?

Need those accident reports they lean so strongly on. If the majority were caused by cyclists above that speed then sadly I guess this is needed but it is truely a senseless law. I'd like to say the cops should just enforce the laws already in place to try and cut down on poor driving cyclists but I bet this law is not for enforcement but for lawsuits AFTER the accident has already taken place.

Doesn't seem like a new law's needed

I cross Folsom at Spruce every day on way to/from work. Sometimes I press the button for the blinky lights & sometimes I don't (another part of the proposed law). I _always_ verify that cars have seen me and are stopping, which might make things slower overall but makes me feel safer. But sometimes getting to the button isn't convenient and people are obviously stopping -- pressing the button would slow cars down even more.

The big problem is people driving cars blowing through these crosswalks. This is _especially_ bad on 30th where I've seen people fly past blinking lights at 40+ mph. There is already a law in the books that cars are required to stop; why not just enforce it?

Which leads me to another thought: the statistic about how many more cyclists are hit than pedestrians. I wonder if this is partly because cyclists' _range_ is bigger and there are a higher percentage of cyclists in crosswalks in places where car traffic is moving faster/paying less attention. (that is, imagine that a crosswalk on 30th has higher accidents, but also more bikes than peds).

Shifting responsibility

As others have said, I don't like that they're effectively shifting responsibility onto the more vulnerable road users.
The automatic crossings are tricky, but you still need to make sure you give motorists a fair shot at stopping in time.
In my opinion, a speed limit law won't work. Cyclists don't have an easy way to tell their speed, and I imagine most cyclists slow down and look before entering crosswalks (or they should). It sounds like they just need a better way to determine right-of-way at some of these traffic features.

you are absolutely right. a

you are absolutely right. a speed limit law won't work. they should make cyclists dismount, myself included. ride the road and act like a vehicle or use the crossWALK and act like a pedestrian. Event 8 mph is too fast. That is a person running through an intersection and a pretty decent clip.