A message from Sheriff Weaver about sharing the road …
The State of Colorado is consistently voted as having the most physically fit residents. As we are out and about we can all see activities that contribute to our overall fitness, walking, jogging, swimming, and bicycling. We are all accustomed to sharing the road with bicyclists and we have all seen the signs, but just what does “Share the Road” really mean?
According to common sense, and the Colorado Revised Statutes:
A bicycle is defined as a vehicle and as such, a person in control of a vehicle is a driver. As a driver, a cyclist has all of the rights to the roadway applicable to any driver.
A cyclist on a roadway must ride as close as practicable to the right-hand curb or edge of the roadway, except when reasonably necessary to avoid hazards.
A cyclist riding past parallel-parked cars should maintain a clearance of four feet to avoid risk of collision with an opening car door.
When a lane is too narrow for a bicycle and another vehicle to travel safely side-by-side (usually less than 14 feet), a cyclist should maintain at least two feet of clearance from a curb or pavement edge.
On the right-hand edge of a roadway is the white line between the roadway and the shoulder. Since the definition of a “roadway” excludes the shoulder, cyclists are not required to ride on paved shoulders, although they may prefer to do so.
Cyclists may ride two abreast only within a single lane and when not impeding traffic.
So just how does an automobile share the road?
The driver of a vehicle overtaking a bicycle must pass at a safe distance of not less than three feet between the vehicle and the bicycle. Since the minimum clearance for passing a bicyclist is three feet, a lane with less than 14 feet of usable width is usually too narrow for motor traffic to share the same lane and safely pass.
Therefore, it may be necessary for a motorist to cross the center line of a roadway. The prohibition of passing in a no-passing zone does not apply when a cyclist is traveling so slowly as to constitute an obstruction. A motorist may cross the center line in a no-passing zone to pass the cyclist if the way is clear.
That’s it. Share the road and pass bicycles with at least three feet of clearance. Enjoy the rest of the summer and the beautiful autumn coming up (try to stay out of these huge afternoon thunderstorms.) Be safe.
– Sheriff Dave Weaver