The Denver Post has published an editorial calling attention to the dramatic increase in death of bicyclists in Denver.

Denver Post, August 1, 2019

The Post Editorial

The least drivers can do for cyclists who have died recently

She was just out for a bike ride around Washington Park, but 37-year-old Alexis Bounds never made it home to her 9-month-old and 4-year-old sons.

Bounds wasn’t taking a risk riding on a major thoroughfare during rush hour. She was riding in a bike lane on a street designed to be pedestrian-friendly when, according to a police report, a dump truck driver took a turn, crossed into her bike lane and hit her just before 4 p.m. last week. The driver was cited for careless driving resulting in death.

Her death alone is enough to strike fear into even the most casual and careful of cyclists in Denver, but she was the fourth cyclist killed on the Front Range in July.

And the statistics reported by Denver Post reporter Andrew Kenney can’t make anyone feel safer: Six bicyclists and 18 pedestrians were killed in 2018, which is the highest death count since 2013. One hundred more cyclists and pedestrians were seriously injured.

The cycling community in Denver, admirably, isn’t allowing these deaths to drive them off the streets, nor should they. Bicyclists have an important role in our community — they take cars off the road, reducing traffic; they reduce both ground-level air pollution that can make people sick and greenhouse gas emissions that are contributing to climate change; and they promote healthy lifestyles for our communities.

That’s why we applaud the response to these recent deaths.

Cyclists are taking to the streets to advocate for safety in honor of Bounds and others who were killed, including Scott Hendrickson, who was killed in south Denver. Joining in the ride that took place Wednesday night or the upcoming Critical Mass ride on Friday night starting at Denver Skate Park are great ways to show solidarity.

On Saturday, there is a MADD walk around Sloan’s Lake to raise money in the fight to end drunken driving. A team of Denver Post employees past and present will participate in honor of Denver Post reporter Colleen O’Connor, who was killed by a drunken driver in 2016 while walking across East First Avenue and South Downing Street.

But there is another way to honor those who have died or been injured in these tragic and preventable accidents — pledge to do better and be safer on the road.

Drivers must slow down on city streets and calm down too, put down cellphones and put our attention back on the road, and never drive after drinking or consuming marijuana or any drug known to impair driving skills.

And drivers must actively look for pedestrians, cyclists and scooters. Even in broad daylight, it can be hard to spot someone whether they are in the street or on a sidewalk. This is a collective responsibility for safety, and it also extends to those biking or walking. Bicyclists must take steps to make themselves more visible and obey the rules of the road as though they were cars, and be confident yet cautious.

We all can and must do better for Bounds and others.

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