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New “Three feet to pass” signage being installed on Colorado roadways

PRESS RELEASE – Thursday, June 9, 2022

Piep van Heuven
Director of Government Relations, Bicycle Colorado

New “Three feet to pass” signage being installed on Colorado roadways

Signage will instruct on rules of the road and create safer interactions between motorists and bicyclists

Five people stand and smile in next to a sign that says "State law: Motorists must give bicyclists 3 ft clearance."

GOLDEN, CO — Earlier today the head of the Colorado Department of Transportation, bike advocates from the Front Range and others celebrated the installation of new, clearer roadway signage that will lead to safer interactions between motorists and people on bikes.

The new signs, which read “State Law: Motorists Must Give Bicycles 3 Ft Clearance,” replace existing “Share the Road” signage and provide clearer direction to motorists of their legal responsibility to safely interact with bicyclists on the road.

“CDOT and Bicycle Colorado are teaming up to remind drivers to give bicyclists their fair share of the roadway, which is a minimum of three feet,” said Shoshana Lew, Executive Director of CDOT. “The signs that we have been installing to this end are designed to serve as a reminder to drivers of motor vehicles that when you’re passing a bicyclist on a shared roadway you are required to give bicyclists at least three feet between the vehicle and the widest part of the bicycle. This is not a suggestion, it is a requirement.”

Signage installation is already underway along State Highways 74 and 93, and additional locations will soon follow.

Colorado is one of 36 states that currently has statutes in place requiring at least a three-foot clearance between a motor vehicle and bicyclist. These signs will remind drivers of their legal responsibility to provide at least three feet of safe passing distance when overtaking a bicyclist on Colorado roads. Former Governor Bill Ritter signed Colorado’s law into effect in 2009.

“We thank CDOT for making the change to the new State Law 3-Feet to Pass signage. Words matter, and these signs leave no double about what is expected of drivers when passing bicyclists on any roadway — three feet of space, and no less,” said Piep van Heuven, Director of Government Relations with Bicycle Colorado, the advocacy organization that has been pushing for this change. “It’s exciting to see CDOT leading on best practices in bicycle safety signage.”

Status information on installation of 3-Foot Signs as of June 2022
(Supplied by Regional Traffic Engineer)

  • CO. 74 between Morrison and Evergreen
  • CO. 93 between Golden and Boulder
  • CO. 14 (Poudre Canyon)
  • U.S. 34 (Big Thompson Canyon)
  • U.S. 36 between Lyons and Boulder
  • CO. 7 between Lyons and CO 72 (west of Lyons)
  • CO. 257 in west Greeley area
  • Scheduled for installation on U.S. 550 between Durango and Silverton (over Coal Bank Pass, Molas Divide and Red Mountain Pass)

“Signs like this help us communicate ahead of time. They help us educate drivers of cars — cyclists on their bike — what is the law and what they should be thinking about when they are interacting with each other. Because that is the key. If we’re waiting until that moment when the interaction is happening, we’re not doing our job,” added Jefferson County Commissioner Andy Kerr. “These beautiful new signs do a great job letting us know this is a state law and being very precise with what exactly that law is.”

CDOT will be installing these new signs statewide over several years alongside repaving or road reconstruction projects. Upcoming and ongoing installation locations include State Highways 14, 34, 36, 7, 257 and 550, with additional installations to follow around the state.


Bicycle Colorado is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit based in Denver whose mission is to lead a passionate and growing movement that champions the interests of everyone who rides or wants to ride a bicycle in our state.
Learn more at www.bicyclecolorado.org

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.


RMurray - Reply

I think lawmakers should stand on a road and have a car pass by them three feet away at 50 miles an hour.

Michael - Reply

I’d like to have one of those 3 feet minimum pass signs to attach to the back of my bike!


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