Bike Jeffco Meeting Minutes: March 10, 2020

Jefferson County Administration Building

100 Jefferson County Parkway, Golden CO

 

Attendees: Charlie Myers, Mike Raber, Brian Weiss, Virginia Temmer, Peter McNutt, Peter Gotseff, Steve Harrelson, Bill Plock, Gary Peterson, Yelena Onnen, Lt. Greg Gompert, Diane Short, Dave Hammond, Kelly Garrod, Matt Burde

 

Guest Speakers:

Brian Weiss, BikeLaw CO – Weiss Law

Matt Burde, Sustainable Development Partners, LLC

 

 

The meeting began with the presentation of a plaque of appreciation to Stephen Harelson, the Chief Engineer at CDOT. Charlie and Mike presented Stephen with the plaque and read the inscription: To Stephen Harleson, for his service at the Colorado Department of Transportation during which he has kept bicyclists’ safety in mind during the planning, implementation, and ongoing care of Colorado’s roads and bikeways.  Stephen has made important contributions to the bicycling community for which the Bike Jeffco Board of Directors recognizes and very much appreciates.


 

Brian Weiss, Bicycle Attorney

Brian Weiss, BikeLaw CO – Weiss Law


Charlie introduced Brian as a lawyer who has represented over one hundred bicycle riders who have been injured in crashes in Colorado. He is licensed to practice law in Georgia and Colorado. He leads an active Colorado lifestyle, biking, and hiking, and spending a lot of time in Summit County. Brian handles all aspects of the crash so that his clients can focus on getting better and hopefully back to what they want to do, like riding a bike. In fact, he has done this so well that over the last 10 years he has collected over $12 million on behalf of his clients.

 

Brian presented on some of the important aspects of many of his cases representing injured cyclists. He also talked about how to reduce our risk of being in a crash. He showed how he used animation and spliced video techniques to dramatically reconstruct a crash. These methods have been very successful in indicating responsibility for the crash and an appropriate award.

 

Colorado rules:

  • You need to signal all turns unless otherwise occupied
  • It is illegal to ride intoxicated
  • No licensing of bikes required
  • Not allowed to ride bikes on sidewalks, but ok in Jeffco
  • Helmets not required
  • Home ruled except for Colorado Safety Stop, which is not universally applied. Morrison tickets riders who don’t stop.
  • Some municipalities have specific rules
  • Cyclists have rights to ride on roads, unless posted otherwise
  • E-bikes – bike industry pushed for rules
    • Class 1 – can ride on bike paths, pedal assist to 20 mpg
    • Class 2 – throttle assist
    • Class 3 – roads only

 

Minimize interactions with Motorists and always be courteous.

Roundabouts require education for users.

 

Crash types and how to avoid:

  • Right hook – responsibility of driver to see cyclist. Safety stop could minimize this type of crash.
  • Trailer took out a rider at intersection, a fatality. Cyclist was in shoulder but got hit by trailer. Brian did graphics to show how this accident occurred to prove driver was in the road.
  • Green bike boxes (paint on roads) may help right hook, but people are not aware of what the green is for. Need education for drivers.
  • Left hook – harder to avoid. When car comes from opposite direction, they may not see cyclists. Flashing front light is good for this. Anticipate even though you have the right of way as a cyclist.
  • Dooring – law has been in books for over 20 years for driver not to open door unless it’s safe. One of the worst collisions you can have as a cyclist for bodily harm. Look out for parked cars! Look for people in cars. If you have this type of accident, try to get witnesses, drivers contact info, accident report, etc. to support your case.
  • Watch out for Uber and Lift drivers and their clients! They often do erratic things like double park, U-turn, etc. They do have good insurance coverage compared to individuals.
  • Drivers pulling out of driveways. Avoid sidewalks in residential areas.
  • Good practices – blinking lights, ride in a group, bright clothing, rearview mirrors, be alert, make eye contact, careful at crosswalks, reflective tape, don’t blow through lights. Dawn and dusk are worst for accidents, so be careful, drivers may not see you.
  • Traffic tickets are not admissible in a civil case.
  • Crashes on bike paths – stay right, don’t speed, announce yourself or use bell, beware of blind curves
  • Watch for dogs! Long leashes can be a problem. Homeowners insurance provides coverage for these cases.
  • Cyclique or Go-Pro cameras are very good for evidence. Front and back is best. Their price has come down.

 

Insurance Protection:

  • Get at least $100K of uninsured motorist and underinsured motorist
  • Accident insurance can also be obtained, or event insurance

 

Matt Burde, Sustainable Development Partners, LLC

He is working on plans for a residential development near NREL, just west of Research Rd and south of 13th Ave. He had been trying to improve the Pleasant View community for years. He bought a property and opened up a gate through a fence. He’s trying to get a property rezoned and have a multi-use path through it. The gravel path through Pleasant View Community Park was finished last year. Matt’s plan for a path through his property will provide a connection from Research Road to Quaker. This represents the Phase II that had been mentioned in some past Bike Jeffco general meetings after the completion of the Pleasant View Community Park Multi-Use path. His 3-acre development plan includes townhomes and condos as well as multi-use path connectivity. There’s a great need for housing in Golden. Growth in county is <1% now and declining. Need housing, young people, and a walkable/bikeable community. He founded the Golden community garden which has been successful. He wants Bike Jeffco support and assistance in planning the path.

 

Virginia Temmer, President of the Sampson Community Club

The portalet in Phillipsburg is important to the Sampson Community. They believe tension between drivers and riders will escalate if it’s removed. Bike Jeffco had to remove the portolet after repeated vandalism to the portolet. Also, Bike Jeffco couldn’t sign the license renewal given some new terms that Bike Jeffco could not accept.

    

Gary Peterson, Bike Blue

Distracted driving bill has passed through the Senate and is heading to the House now with a better chance than it did last year. We need to contact House and Judiciary Committee members to gather support for the bill.

 

 

 

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