The City of Fort Collins Traffic Operations (CFCTO) has launched several road construction projects in an attempt to improve traffic and pedestrian safety. As a public research organization, the CFCTO is tasked with studying and improving traffic infrastructure.
According to The Collegian, a paper produced by Colorado State University, the projects are aimed at developing protected bike lanes and other infrastructure that can improve cyclist, pedestrian and automobile safety.
For example, the Laurel Street Pilot project will become the first protected bike lane in Fort Collins. Protected bike lanes put barriers between cyclists and automobiles. The project is part of the Fort Collins Bicycle Master Plan, which will make the town safer for cyclists. Local transportation officials want to move cyclists out of high-volume traffic areas to reduce the risk of bicycle accidents.
Can Protected Bike Lanes Reduce Bicycle Accidents?
Last month, a Fort Collins resident was killed in a bicycle accident after being struck by a vehicle. The vehicle was reportedly turning right at an intersection when the driver swerved to avoid a rear-end collision with a truck. The driver did not see the 57-year-old cyclist in time, leading to a fatal accident.
Upgrading infrastructure in Fort Collins and providing protected bike lanes might help reduce bicycle accidents. According to the New York State Department of Transportation (NYSDT), protected bike lanes installed in New York City led to a 57 percent reduction in injuries to cyclists.
The same NYSDOT statistics show that protected bike lanes were responsible for a 40 percent drop in bicycle accidents. If a major metropolitan area like New York City was able to benefit from protected bike lanes, it is possible Fort Collins can, too.
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