According to census data, Boulder and Fort Collins have significant percentages of their populations commuting to work by bicycle. Those percentages are much higher than in many other parts of the country, and consequently, these cities also have a much higher risk of accidents involving bicycles and motor vehicles.
According to data from the Census Bureau’s 2011 American Community Survey, bicyclists in Boulder make up 9.51% of the total population commuting to work every day. There are a total of 5,128 bicyclists commuting to work every day out of a total workforce of 53,388.
In Fort Collins, the bicycling population makes up approximately 6.64% of commuters. Here, there are total of 5,112 bicyclists out of a total of 76,972 workers commuting to work every day.
According to the census data, in most areas of the country, bicyclists account for a tiny percentage of commuters. That is why it is so significant that two Colorado cities have more than 5% of their workforce commuting to work by bicycle every day.
Bicycling has numerous health benefits, not to mention a great role to play in reducing traffic congestion. For this reason, the census data is very encouraging. However, the fact is that when there are more bicyclists on the street, it does create a tense, and possibly hostile, situation between bicyclists and motorists.
In the state of Colorado, a bicyclist is considered as vehicle, which means that a bicyclist enjoys the same rights and privileges as any motorist does. If you are a motorist, this means that you must respect a bicyclist’s right-of-way.
In fact, right-of-way violations are some of the frequent causes of bicycle accidents in Colorado. Most bicycle accidents occur at intersections, and involve a vehicle that is making a left turn in front of a bicyclist, backing out, or running a stop sign.