Colorado—and Fort Collins in particular—is known for being bike-friendly. Our city has relatively flat terrain, more than 280 miles of wide bike lanes, and 30+ miles of paved trails. We also boast a walkable city, especially in the downtown area where you can stroll between shops, restaurants, and performance venues with ease.
With so many people getting around on two wheels and two feet, it’s important for motorists to share the road with more than just other cars. Here are tips that drivers, cyclists, and pedestrians can use to keep Fort Collins’ roads safer for everyone.
Tips for Drivers to Share the Road
Cars, trucks, and vans are the largest, fastest moving objects on the road. This puts the greatest responsibility for sharing the road in the hands of motorists. As you drive around Fort Collins and elsewhere, keep these tips in mind:
- Stop for pedestrians at crosswalks.
- Obey the posted speed limit, especially in school zones.
- Come to a complete stop at stop signs.
- Yield to bicyclists and pedestrians when backing out of a driveway or turning at an intersection.
- Stop when a school bus turns on its flashing lights to let students on and off.
- Check your rearview mirror for upcoming bicyclists before opening your door.
- Drive cautiously when passing by stopped vehicles in case someone steps out in front of you.
- Steer your car to the left slightly when passing cyclists in the bike lane to allow a three-foot clearance.
Tips for Cyclists to Share the Road
To keep yourself safe, remain aware of your surroundings when riding your bike on city streets. Then, follow these additional tips:
- Obey the rules of the road. This means you should stop at stop signs, observe traffic lights, and use hand signals for stopping and turning.
- Stay in the right-hand bike lane except for when you merge with traffic to make a left turn.
- Wear a helmet.
- Wear reflective gear, and attach a white front light and red rear reflector for nighttime visibility.
- Don’t wear headphones so you can hear cars approaching.
Tips for Pedestrians to Share the Road
When walking or running along busy streets, keep the following safety tips in mind:
- Only cross the street at a crosswalk. Press the pedestrian button on the traffic signal, and wait until it gives you the all clear to cross. Even then, look both ways before stepping off the curb.
- Use extreme caution when crossing at intersections without traffic signals.
- Never dart out from between parked cars into the path of oncoming traffic.
- Wear bright or reflective clothing when walking or running at night.
- Avoid walking in dangerous areas while wearing headphones, which makes you unable to hear your surroundings.
How to Report Aggressive Driving
An aggressive driver is someone who combines unsafe and unlawful actions on the road that show a willful disregard for safety. Types of aggressive driving include:
- Running a red light or stop sign
- Following too closely (tailgating)
- Changing lanes unsafely and without using a signal
- Failing to yield the right of way to pedestrians and bicyclists
- Passing in no-passing zones
It’s in your best interest to avoid aggressive drivers rather than engage or challenge them. Don’t make eye contact, ignore rude gestures, and slow down so the aggressive driver can pass. Remember, your goal is to avoid road rage and make it to your destination calmly and safely.
Whether you’re walking, riding a bike, or driving a car, you may decide to report aggressive driving when you see it. Fort Collins police will need the following information to act on your report:
- Vehicle description, including the color, make, model, license plate number, and license plate state
- Driver description, including gender, age, race, hair color, height, and weight
- When and where the incident took place
- An explanation of what happened
- Your name, address, and phone number (if you’re willing to be a witness)
Another way to share the road safely is to make sure your car remains in good working order. If you need vehicle maintenance or repair, please contact Scott’s Fort Collins Auto today. You can schedule an appointment online or call (970) 682-4202 to arrange your next visit.