Reader: Bicyclists Need to Be Careful and Obey the Rules of the Road

A ghost bike monument, left at a Denver-area location near where a cyclist died.
A ghost bike monument, left at a Denver-area location near where a cyclist died.
Sam Levin
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Few things are as controversial as cyclists (well, maybe vegans). Some drivers and pedestrians happily share the roads with their two-wheeled brethren, while others wish they'd learn how to read a stop sign. Regardless of where you fall on the issue, consider how scary it must be to share the road with four-wheeled killing machines when all you're trying to do is save the planet and a few  bucks.

If you're a cyclist, you might want to avoid these neighborhoods in Denver. And definitely avoid those critics who are hostile to cycling.

Says Stephany:

Bicyclists need to be more careful and obey the rules of the road, like stopping at lights and stop signs, using hand signals before turning, and not weaving in and out of traffic. And please, wear helmets!

Leon responds:

Same can be said of drivers.

Shasta adds:

I often rode my bike all through this city and felt fairly safe back in the day. Not so much anymore, not with all of the angry, reckless drivers.

Kari argues:

Denver has the worst drivers. Hands down. Not a transplant vs. native issue. I’ve driven all across the U.S. for many, many years, in all sorts of inclement weather, and Denver is where I’m involved in my first accident. All 'cause she didn’t look left. Doesn’t matter what you are driving, bike or car, just pay attention.

Share the road with all, including bicycles and motorcycles.

Also, carpool. Let’s not become like L.A. End rant.

But the ranting isn't over. Klay says:

Those motherfuckers seriously believe they own the road. Some dipshit on a $5,000 bike hit me from behind in my $4,000 van. He was going 30, I was going under 5. Well, let's just say van-1, bike-0. Yo, it's just not a good idea to blast through a busy intersection going 30 on a bike without looking; you're eventually going to get hit, or hit somebody. Take that shit out on a county road or something. Not the middle of a city.

And then there's this from Travis:

I don't bike, but I imagine they're going too fast downhill to have time to leave trash or ruin stuff. I don't mind stepping off to the side every now and then.

To find the areas of greatest risk to cyclists, we dug into the facts and figures collected in Denver's open-data catalogue, a free online resource. There, visitors will find traffic information dating back to 2012 — and stats for more recent incidents are accessible within a week or two of their occurrence.

We discovered that there were 2,054 reports of accidents involving cars striking bicycles (or vice versa) from the start of the database to April 19 of this year. Over that period, the most car/bike crashes tended to take place in central Denver neighborhoods, including Capitol Hill, North Capitol Hill, Union Station and Civic Center.

Other dangerous neighborhoods include Highland, City Park West, the Central Business District and more.

Where do you fall in the cycling v. driving debate? Is Denver easy to navigate on two wheels? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section of this post or at editorial@westword.com.

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