Did you know the population of Larimer County is growing? With more people coming to our neck of the woods, the whole area is changing. However, this expansion could cause some unforeseen problems when it comes to our local cyclists. Will city officials be able to adjust and keep the roads safe for bicycles?
Larimer County’s First Bicycle Fatality of the Year, and What It Means
On July 10th, a Loveland man was riding his bike along North Taft Avenue when he swerved to enter the left-hand turn lane. Unfortunately, he apparently did not see the car that was in the lane to his left. He impacted the vehicle’s right side and crashed. He was soon transported to Medical Center of the Rockies where he later succumbed to his injuries. The man was 71 years old.
Tragedies like this are not common in Larimer County, but a disturbing trend is starting to emerge. In 2014, only one person died in a cycling crash. In 2015, two cyclists lost their lives and 2016 saw three people killed in bike versus vehicle collisions. Over those three years, we have also seen the number of total crashes going up. Authorities believe this might be due to increases in local population, which translates to more bikes on the road. However, there are people trying to keep Larimer County’s growth from causing more bike crashes.
Bike Fort Collins is spearheading initiatives not only here in Fort Collins but in Loveland as well. The executive director of the organization says they are trying to build safer systems for cars and bikes to share the road, so the possibility of crashes will decrease. To that end, Bike Fort Collins has worked with city officials to expand bike trails, bike lanes and signage both here in Fort Collins and Loveland.
On July 16th, a memorial was held for the 71-year-old who lost his life one week before. Those who gathered remembered stories of the avid cyclist, and they installed what is known as a “ghost bike” to serve as reminder to those who pass by. The rider’s family asks that donations to Bike Fort Collins be made in lieu of flowers.
From the bicycle accident attorneys at Metier Law Firm—supporting riders in Larimer County and the rest of Colorado.