Aug 3, 2023 - Transit

Free class aims to improve driver's safety around cyclists, pedestrians

Illustration of a pattern of bicycles.

Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

Bicycle Colorado wants to increase driver awareness β€” and safety β€” on roadways.

Details: The organization recently launched a free and interactive online class it hopes can help motorists become better drivers around pedestrians and cyclists.

  • The class takes about 75 minutes to complete.

Why it matters: Road safety is a major concern for pedestrians and cyclists, especially as biking grows in popularity with e-bikes becoming commonplace.

  • A study by the Denver Regional Council of Governments, which provided grant money to develop the class, found 59% of people in metro Denver are interested in riding bikes but don't due to safety concerns.
  • A 17-year-old cyclist died on Saturday after he was struck by a driver in Boulder and another was struck and killed by an A Line commuter train in Denver last week.

The intrigue: The class is developed from a course initially taught in-person for bike safety, Bicycle Colorado spokesperson Aishwarya Krishnamoorthy tells us. They decided to digitize it to reach more people.

By the numbers: Denver's bike death rate declined by 6% between 2017 to 2021 compared to 2012-2016, according to the League of American Bicyclists via NHTSA.

What they're saying: "It feels like an emergency that drivers learn to interact with people outside their vehicles using the street," Amy Kenreich, a Denver-based bike advocate who is featured in the Bicycle Colorado class, tells us.

Of note: Denver is home to 125 miles of lanes for bikes, and while advocates say its dedicated infrastructure has improved, they say it needs to be better connected to other bikeways.


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