Image for Bicycle Colorado

Reports detail how Colorado supports bicycling

For the past several weeks, we’ve been working with the Colorado Department of Transportation to complete a rigorous report to the League of American Bicyclists and the Alliance for Walking and Biking about the ways our state government supports bicycling.

The League uses the report to determine its Bicycle Friendly States ranking, and the Alliance uses it in its benchmark report on bicycling and walking activities in the United States. We work with the transportation department to make sure that everything Colorado does for bicycling is included. In 2013, Colorado was ranked No. 2 on the Bicycle Friendly States list, and we’ve been commended particularly on bicycle-friendly laws. Washington was first.

We’re always excited to find out how Colorado ranks—the 2014 list will be announced later this spring and the League’s Andy Clarke speaks at our Colorado Bicycle Summit next week. Here’s what’s included in the report, including some of the things Colorado does well in each category.

Legislation and enforcement

Basic laws and regulations that govern bicycling. Colorado has state laws that allow cyclists to use the shoulder, signal turns with either hand and move away from the right-hand side of the road for safety reasons. We also have laws that require motorists to give bicyclists three feet berth when passing. (All good things.)

Programs and policies

The Colorado Department of Transportation requirements for accommodating cyclists. Colorado has a Complete Streets policy, which requires that all new state roads include a shoulder—an important element to a high ranking on the list.


Specific performance measurements for bicycling infrastructure (bike lanes, paths, trails, etc.) and how it’s funded at the state level. Colorado lags behind other states in state infrastructure funding.

Education and encouragement

How the state educates adults and kids about bicycling, educates individual and professional motorists about sharing the road and encourages people to ride bikes. Colorado’s drivers handbook includes a section about bicycle laws, safety and sharing the road. For the past nine years, the state has allocated federal transportation dollars to biking and walking safety education through the Safe Routes to School program, but funding is at risk. Colorado also promotes bicycling through the Colorado Tourism Office, produces bike maps and collaborates with state and advocacy groups (like Bicycle Colorado).

Evaluation and Planning

How bicycling is incorporated into the state’s yearly planning. This section measures results of state bicycle/car crash rates and bike commuting rates, and includes ways bicycling is included in highway safety, outdoor recreation and bicycle transportation plans.

This is just one example of how we work with state officials to keep bicycling top-of-mind. We’re proud to work together with the transportation department to promote Colorado’s bicycle friendliness.

Bicycle Colorado

About the Author: Bicycle Colorado

Bicycle Colorado is a 501(c)3 nonprofit based in Denver. We use advocacy, education and passion to make Colorado one of the most bicycle-friendly states in the nation. We encourage and promote bicycling, increase safety, improve conditions and provide a voice for people who ride bicycles in Colorado. With the support of our members and numerous partnerships across the public and private sector, we’ve made significant strides in improving bicycling since 1992.


Mike - Reply

Above in Legislation and Enforcement you state, “Colorado has state laws that allow cyclists to use the shoulder”. Not true. Colorado has state laws which REQUIRE bicyclists to use the shoulder. This is segregation by legislation and treats bicyclists unequally as users of public roads. These laws put bicyclists in the least desirable and more dangerous part of the road (more debris, poor sight lines from intersecting roads). It also increases the likelihood of harassment and threats by motorists and law enforcement when they do leave the shoulder.


Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Bicycle Colorado

Our twitter feed is unavailable right now. Follow us on Twitter

  • Share and tag your bicycle images
  • DON’T DELAY: We’re placing another order for #BicycleColorado masks made by our friends at @primalwear TOMORROW (5/14) at noon! Click the link in our bio to get yours now!
We’re thrilled to see so many people out enjoying (and often rediscovering the joy of) riding a bike right now, and we’re asking ALL bicyclists to do their part to prevent the spread of #covid19 by wearing a mask or other face covering when out for a ride. Doing so keeps you, your loved ones, those around you, and all Coloradans safer while helping reduce stress on our medical system. If you still need a mask, click the link in our bio to pre-order one now and support our advocacy work! Thanks so much to everyone who has already purchased, and to @primalwear for supporting our efforts over the years. Ride on.
  • #BicycleColorado volunteers and staff members spent time today helping @denverurbangardens and @denverfoodrescue deliver “Grow a Garden” food boxes to home-bound families in Denver—via bike! Supporting our community on two wheels makes for a great way to spend a sunny day. Many thanks to our friends @ddchen47, David M., and @juggernautcargo for your help! Head to denverfoodrescue.org or dug.org to learn more about these great local organizations. #rideyourbike
  • Tonight the #BicycleColorado team celebrated Stacey, our outgoing Development Director, with a virtual happy hour. Stacey has been an absolute rockstar for BC. We’re sad to see her leave, but thrilled for her as she heads out on a new adventure (hopefully in the #BikeAdvocacy space!) in North Carolina. Please join us in wishing her well!