Bicycle Ambassador Program
We like to think of every week as bike safety week, but during this week Fort Collins Police Services and FC Bikes will be out in the field promoting bicycle safety at key locations.
Officers will conduct additional education and enforcement focusing in areas of the city that experience higher numbers of bicycle-vehicle crashes and potential for user conflict. In addition, officers will focus on violations that have greater potential to result in injury and contact people on bikes and people in cars as a holistic approach to advancing safety in our community.
Bike Safety Week builds on a set of recently adopted city ordinances that help simplify the enforcement, education and fine structure of bicycle-related laws in Fort Collins. To learn more about these new ordinances, Bike Safety Week and what it means to be a safe cyclist and driver look for the FC Bikes Bicycle Ambassadors at Laurel Street on Remington Street Wednesday and in the Campus West/Avery Park area Thursday.
This past year, the city has worked to develop additional opportunities to combine its bicycle-focused enforcement and education initiatives. One unique program, launched last fall, allows people who receive a bicycle-related citation the option to participate in a Bicycle Traffic Citation Course offered through FC Bikes. In addition to a reduced fine, this three-hour class leaves participants with a greater understanding of traffic law as it pertains to bicycling.
Looking beyond Bike Safety Week, FC Bikes is partnering with Fort Collins Police Services and other organizations, such as the Bicycle and Pedestrian Education Coalition and Bike Fort Collins, to develop a larger initiative to build awareness among the community about bicycle safety priorities. Part of this initiative includes increasing motorist education offerings through a new Bicycle Friendly Driver Program – a program that is currently in development and expected to launch in early December.
So when you’re out riding or driving during Bike Safety Week and beyond, remember to ride smart and drive smart in the name of safety by following these simple safety tips:
1. Be predictable — “drive your bike” and ride in a way that lets other road users know your intentions.
2. Stop at all stop signs and red lights.
3. Ride in the direction of traffic.
4. Be seen — a front white light and rear red reflector or light are required at night.
5. Signal your turns and when stopping.
6. Although sidewalk riding is not recommended (and is prohibited in some areas of town), if you are riding on a sidewalk, yield to pedestrians and be extra diligent at intersections and driveways. Motorists and other users are not expecting you to be on the sidewalk.
1. Stop at all stops signs and red lights, and make sure to look for people walking and bicycling before proceeding.
2. Be diligent in looking for cyclists at intersections and when turning — always check your mirrors, blind spots and for cyclists riding against the flow of traffic.
3. Signal all turns to let other road users, including cyclists, know your intentions.
4. Give cyclists at least 3 feet when passing. It is legal to cross a double yellow line when passing a cyclist as long as the opposite lane is clear of oncoming traffic.
Tessa Greegor is the FC Bikes Program Manager, Bicycle Ambassador (www.bicycleambassadorprogram.org), member of the Bicycle and Pedestrian Education Coalition and a League Cycling instructor.