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Boulder study sheds light on bicycle

Boulder's flashing crosswalks are Viagra Online Pharmacy not the most dangerous walkways in the city, according to a three year study that challenges some popular beliefs.

City officials recently completed the Safe Streets Boulder Report, an analysis of data from accidents involving vehicles, bicyclists, pedestrians and skateboarders that paints one of the most comprehensive pictures to date of transportation safety in Levitra Pills the city.

The report identifies Kamagra Oral Jelly Amazon the most dangerous intersections and crosswalks in the city, the most common types of accidents and the behaviors that caused them. The report was formed using information gleaned from accidents within city limits between January 2008 and April 2011.

Data from more than 8,500 collisions during that time sheds new light on Boulder's transportation system that city planners, traffic engineers and police hope to use to reduce the number of roadway conflicts in one of the most bike and pedestrian friendly cities in the country.

One of the key findings of the report is that while crosswalks are the most common place for collisions involving pedestrians and cyclists, Boulder's infamous flashing crosswalks are among the safest in the city.

Crosswalks of all types accounted for 44 percent of accidents involving pedestrians and 56 percent of accidents involving bikes. But of those, only 6 percent took place in a flashing crosswalk.

"We found that people are just as likely to be hit at crosswalks at intersections" as they are at flashing crosswalks, said Bill Cowern, a Boulder traffic engineer.

A 2010 Boulder study found that more than one third of the crosswalks with flashing lights have led to higher rates of accidents. Cowern said that's likely because there's a learning curve for drivers and pedestrians and because more people started using the crosswalks.

He said the city removed the most dangerous flashing crosswalk on Baseline Road just east of Broadway, now scheduled to receive an underpass which has helped improve the overall safety record of the flashing walkways.

"Flashing crosswalks are now statistically more safe," Cowern said.

Of the 15 intersections with the most accidents during the study period, only two contain flashing signs: at Baseline Road east of Broadway; and along 28th Street south of Iris Avenue.

Marni Ratzel, the bicycle and pedestrian transportation planner for Go Boulder, said there's a general perception in the Boulder community that flashing crosswalks aren't safe. She said the Safe Streets data should "dispel" those myths.

A majority of the most dangerous crossings in Boulder are centered around the University of Colorado. Four of the crossings on the list of the most conflict ridden locations are along Broadway, adjacent to the CU campus. But the crossing with the most recorded accidents is at Colorado Avenue and Regent Drive on the north end of the campus.

A total of 11 collisions involving cyclists or pedestrians were tallied at the Regent crossing, according to the report. Ryan Huff, a spokesman for CU police, said he isn't surprised by the findings given the volume of traffic in that area.

"It's a main intersection, a main entry and exit point for us," he said. "You have literally thousands of people coming through there every day."

Leslie Fowler, right, joins other pedestrians crossing Regent Drive at Colorado Avenue on Thursday. on a normal weekday.

In response, the university and the city last year installed an experimental HAWK (high intensity activated crosswalk) light at the crossing, which turns flashing yellow, solid yellow and then red when activated by a pedestrian. Huff said he expects the light to reduce the number of accidents in the area.

But the safest crosswalks in the city, the report concludes, are those where the city has added special signs, raised right turn bypasses or other treatments to increase driver awareness.

Bicycles vs. vehicles make up 6 percent of all traffic accidents in Boulder, according to the Safe Streets report.

At that rate, cyclists are about three times more likely to be involved in an accident with a vehicle than a pedestrian is.

"You've really got to pay attention," said Jason Estes, a bike courier with Denver/Boulder Couriers who was making deliveries through the snow Friday morning.

By far, the most common danger to cyclists in Boulder is drivers making turns within intersections. Turning vehicles were the cause of 40 percent of all bike vehicle crashes during the study period. In about 10 percent of the cases, a driver was making a right turn on a red light.

"That is a big deal," Estes said. "There's definitely times when people are looking to the left and start pulling out and I have the right of way."

Still, Estes said, Boulder drivers are generally more aware of cyclists than in other cities where he's worked.

"I think there's always improvements to be made," he said. "But Boulder, I feel, is a great place to ride."

12/09/2016

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