Tragedy lurking in Vail Valley
Vail, CO, Colorado
You should have printed a different picture with your description, “Cyclists silently ride in a straight line at a slow pace,” while the picture reflected a big pack of cyclists with some riding two- and three-wide toward the back.
When I moved here, I had heard the about how the cyclists hate motorists and the motorists hate cyclists and to look for the articles that reflected those views and while I didn’t think I’d get caught up in it, I’m compelled to write and state an opinion.
You mentioned that bike paths aren’t always available to cyclists because of pedestrian use from walkers, dogs, strollers and so on. But your picture shows no one on the side lane (except maybe the photographer taking the picture), and the majority of the cyclists are out in the road.
I slow down for the cyclists and enjoy watching them, but on a busy frontage road, you’re putting cars in the path of oncoming cars in a lot of cases where a cyclist is actually taking half of the driving lane. Mind you, the majority of cyclists I come across are usually riding the white line. Having ridden the frontage roads in Vail, I can understand poor pavement and asphalt conditions make for the need to veer into the road itself (even on my mountain bike).
I don’t have a solution for it. I know Vail’s big business in the summer involves biking, but I don’t see a lot of room to widen the road to create a dedicated biking path for cyclists unless you restripe the east-west lanes a little narrower to create that path. Or add speed bumps all along the frontage roads, which would create a safe space around the speed bumps.
I do wish cars and bikes didn’t have to try and force themselves in the same space, though. It’s just tragedy waiting to happen.
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