Walking and biking around Denver is a great way to get around, get exercise, have fun and maybe even save some money. There are over 20 miles of dedicated bike lanes in Denver and many more miles of bike and hiking trails along Cherry Creek and the Platte River. With the population of Denver increasing, auto traffic is more congested and rushed than ever before — just crossing the street can be dangerous. Keep reading to learn some tips to help keep you safe.
As a bicyclist or pedestrian, by law you have the right of way, but if a driver doesn’t see you it won’t matter. Stay alert and take steps to stay safe when you’re walking or bicycling.
- Always walk on sidewalks. Use crosswalks and light signal buttons before you step out into traffic.
- Drivers occasionally run red lights. Look in all directions when crossing the street, even if you have a green light or walk signal.
- Don’t walk out from behind or between parked vehicles. A driver may not see you in time to stop.
- Wear light, bright colors at night to make yourself more visible.
- If you must walk on the road, always walk facing oncoming traffic and get out of the roadway as soon as you can.
- By state law, a bicycle is considered a vehicle and must always brake at stop signs and red lights.
- Use your hand signals when turning. It tells drivers where you’re going.
- BE SEEN! Wear bright colors day and night.
- At night, use white bicycle lights on the front and blinking red lights on the back of your bike.
- Try to make eye contact with drivers to confirm they see you.
- Do not ride in a car’s rear blind spot. If you can see a driver’s face in their side mirror they are more likely to see you too.
- Your head might be as hard as a rock, but your brain is like the inside of an egg. Wear a helmet to protect it against crash injuries.
Driver Responsibilities with Pedestrians and Bicyclists
In Denver, pedestrians and bicyclists have the right of way. It is especially important for drivers to use caution and be aware of bicyclists, joggers and pedestrians.
Here are some rules to help you anticipate and prevent potential life changing accidents with walkers, joggers and bicyclists:
- Allow at least three feet between you and a bicyclist you want to pass. Let the bike rider get to a spot where they can pull over to a safe distance. Be patient and find your happy spot, don’t get upset. The consequences are not worth it.
- Be extra careful driving at night when it’s harder to see things. Chances are good that at some point a bike rider could suddenly turn in front of you. A walker might try to cross the street in the middle of the block from between parked cars. You must be ready to stop with little notice.
- Use your turn signals at corners and intersections so walkers and bicyclists know what you’re doing.
- Be street smart. Your truck or car may weigh up to 2,000 pounds and even the slightest contact with a bicyclist, jogger or walker can have a bad outcome. A little caution and patience will go a long way keeping everyone healthy, happy and safer on the streets of Denver.