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Cycling: Longmont considers ban on bikes downtown, advocates oppose strict enforcement

Categories: Environment, News

Bicycle Longmont thumb.jpg
Bicycle Longmont
Based on safety concerns and the potential for crashes in a congested corridor, Longmont officials are considering a ban on biking downtown through a so-called "dismount zone" that would require cyclists to get off their wheels and walk their bikes. And while cycling advocates aren't opposed to encouraging safer behaviors, some say they are worried about a new enforcement policy that could lead to unfair fines for those who choose not to drive.

In a state where cycling is an increasingly popular mode of transportation, especially in urban centers, these kinds of debates are becoming more common across Colorado, especially with concerns about the growing number of collisions.

While there is a lot of debate in Denver around crashes between cars and bikes as more cyclists use the city's streets, in Longmont, it seems that the discussion is centered on the potential for crashes between bikes and pedestrians.

Bicycle Longmont, Aspen photo.jpg
Facebook, Bicycle Longmont
Bicycle Longmont sign at Balltown on 82.
"We occasionally get complaints from merchants or visitors...[who] say they were almost run over by a bike...or there's been some near-misses," says Kimberlee McKee, executive director of the Longmont Downtown Development Authority, which is considering a possible dismount zone. "One of our goals is to make downtown friendly for all kinds of modes of transportation."

Unlike in Denver, it is legal for cyclists to ride on the sidewalk in Longmont, she notes.

McKee says that the city is in the early stages of collecting information about this problem in anticipation of possibily sending a proposal to the city council, which would have to approve any kind of new ordinance.

Scott Conlin, a board member with Bicycle Longmont, the local advocacy group, says that he wants to be sure officials better understand the scope of the problem before putting in any kind of policy that could be unnecessarily harsh toward cyclists.

"If there is an issue with people riding their bikes too fast, then we're [in favor of]...trying to curb that behavior and make sure it's a safe place for cyclists and pedestrians and everyone," Conlin says. "But our board's perspective is not to go directly to an ordinance immediately."

Continue for more on the debate around a possible dismount zone.


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18 comments
roadblock
roadblock

yeah ban bikes!! that'll solve the congestion problem!!! everyone knows about them bike traffic jams!!

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

It's time for MANDATORY bicycle Registration for all bikes that operate on PUBLIC roadways.

Mandatory Licenses for all Cyclists that ride on Public Roadways.

Mandatory License Plates for all Bikes on Public Roadways, so citizens can more easily identify the scofflaws.

Mandatory Liability Insurance for all Bikes that operate on the Public Roadways.

No More Free Rides for Bicyclists!

Regulation Works !!


Brad Aerts
Brad Aerts

Could we ban " Bans" for s while

Adam Vernon
Adam Vernon

What for? Dedicate The downtown strictly for Tractor pulls??

Lisa Cheeks Marie
Lisa Cheeks Marie

I don't really get a good idea from this article about why specific areas of Longmont are dangerous for bikes, but getting them off of sidewalks is a start. A "congested corridor" as the reason to ban bikes sounds more like a city engineering problem than a bicycle one.

Rick Hall
Rick Hall

Longmont shouldn't ban bikes. But bike riders should be more responsible and realize that not following traffic laws can be fatal.

Juan_Leg
Juan_Leg

I'm crippled and if it weren't for the amount of paths & trails most of our populated areas contain and maintain, I'd be hard pressed for a safe place to walk my dog . I am proud of our path system set up for bicyclists,  and brag when the topic comes up . I've spent several years in Portland, Oregon, a city I have always found very comparative to Denver . They too have an intricate bike path system .

Doesn't our state boast as home to MANY 'World Class Athletes', training from all over the planet ? It doesn't take much to be kind and aware of our two-wheeling road cohabitants .

waxlonghorn
waxlonghorn

@WizeBarry I agree. My mother just had her arm broken by a careless cyclist who didn't give a crap. Cyclists should be limited to the ocean.

BikingDen
BikingDen

@DonkeyHotay You are absolutely correct Donkey!

Everyone who uses the road, or indeed the sidewalks, or ventures outside should be licensed because the world is a dangerous place.

I vote for mandatory license plates for pedestrians too (they use sidewalks/cross the road) they could easily display the plate on their jacket at the front and back. They should also have manatory liability insurance! Those peds are a liability unto themselves! They always get in the way of cars!!! Drivers should be able to drive how they please without the annoyance of having to think about others on the road, it's just fair.

While we're at it, we should probably make it mandatory for all pets as well, cats and dogs could EASILY display a plate upon their rump. And don't even get me started on squirrels, I don't even think they pay any taxes towards the road upkeep!!

I'm in complete agreement with you Donkey.

No More Free Walks for Pedestrians!!!!


DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@Juan_Leg  

Portland is WAY better than Denver for Cyclists and Safety.

Reason is, they are smart enough to minimize bikes IN TRAFFIC, offering them separate segregated and safe pathways and lanes that don't require them to compete with 3000+lbs of steel moving at 40+ mph.

BikingDen
BikingDen

@waxlonghorn Where as a driver would have probably killed you mom. I wonder how many people have been killed by being hit by a cyclist, compared to those hit by cars? 

With that reasoning, cars should be limited to the ocean, the world would be much safer, if slower.

Juan_Leg
Juan_Leg

@DonkeyHotay I know Portland is ahead of Colorado w/ it's path systems . I was making somewhat of a comparison between the two cities .

michael.roberts
michael.roberts moderator editortopcommenter

@BikingDen If both cars and bikes were in the ocean, we'd be right back where we started. Thanks for the post, BikingDen.

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