‘Share the Road’ gets a boost | AspenTimes.com

‘Share the Road’ gets a boost

Staff report

Deadly conditions for bicyclists and pedestrians in Colorado have spurred the state Department of Transportation to start a new public-awareness program encouraging everyone to share the road.

“Share the Road, Friend” is directed at all road users — motorists, bicyclists and pedestrians. The campaign reminds road users, “Life has enough problems; sharing the road shouldn’t be one of them.”

Pedestrian and cyclist fatalities have spiked in Colorado since 2002. Pedestrian fatalities are up nearly 10 percent, while bicyclist deaths are up 44 percent, according to CDOT. Denver and Pueblo are the two most at-risk communities for pedestrians and cyclists, according to state statistics.

The public-awareness campaign will feature public-relations activities and grassroots efforts throughout the state as well as billboards, print advertisements and radio pieces in Denver and Pueblo.

The campaign promotes the idea that everyone is equal on the road. No single type of user is targeted or blamed for conflicts.

“We understand that the issue of who uses the road can be polarizing and often pits one mode against another,” said Betsy Jacobsen, CDOT bicycle/pedestrian/byways section manager. “Bringing different road users together has brought greater understanding that no single mode owns the road.

“This campaign is an extension of that effort and encourages all users to be mindful of others and share the road,” Jacobsen continued in a prepared statement.

CDOT is sharing these general tips in its campaign:

Do not use cellphones while driving, walking or cycling.

• Motorists should leave three feet between their vehicle and a bicyclist while passing.

• Pedestrians should cross the street at crosswalks and look both ways.

• Bicyclists should ride with the flow of traffic and obey all traffic laws.

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