The 2022 legislative session in Colorado kicked off on January 12

This year, our primary focus in the legislature will be adopting the Safety Stop into the statewide transportation code. We’ll also be working with environmentally- and mobility-focused organizations to influence the shape of Colorado’s transportation budget bill throughout the session. As always, our top priorities will reflect the broad themes of our strategic plan, encouraging safer road behaviors, creating places to bike and expanding the bicycling movement and, above all, making sure all Coloradans can choose bicycling as a healthy choice for recreation and transportation.

 

We’ll update this page regularly with information about the 2022 legislative session, so be sure to check back. Together, with a unified voice, we can make a difference and continue to make Colorado the best place to ride a bike!

Support our work with a donationLook back at our work in 2021

House Bill 22-1028:
The Colorado Safety Stop and Statewide Regulation of Controlled Intersections

UPDATE 4/13/2022: The Safety Stop has been signed into law by the Governor! It took effect immediately.

What the bill will do:

This bill will take the language of Senate Bill 18-144, AKA “The Safety Stop Bill,” and:

  1. Expand who may perform the Safety Stop to include not just bicyclists, but all people on “low-speed conveyances” (described below).
  2. Allow pedestrians to cross stop sign controlled intersections without coming to a complete stop. 
  3. Make the maneuver legal statewide. 

What is the Safety Stop?

The Safety Stop creates a safer way for low profile, non-motorized road users to cross at intersections when they have the right of way. The maneuver allows people on “low-speed conveyances” to:

  • treat stop signs as yield signs.
  • treat stop lights as stop signs.

The Safety Stop does not impact the current right-of-way whatsoever. People on bikes can proceed straight, right, or left at a reasonable speed of no more than 10 miles per hour only when the coast is clear. This applies only to bicyclists ages 15 and up. Younger bicyclists may do so when accompanied by an adult.

What is a low-speed conveyance?

Simply put, low-speed conveyances are small profile, low-speed vehicles that people use for transportation and recreation. This includes, but is not limited to:

  • Bicycles and electric bicycles 
  • Electric scooters (not including mopeds) 
  • Wheelchairs
  • Skateboards and “one wheels” 

When signed into law,  “low-speed conveyance” will be defined formally in statute.

Why make this legal statewide?

First and foremost, it’s safety-enhancing policy. Intersections are by far the most dangerous locations for bicyclists, in Colorado and elsewhere. Data from the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) covering 2017-2019 indicates that 72.2% of reported crashes between bicyclists and drivers took place at intersections or were “intersection related” in that time frame. It’s safer for bicyclists and motorists alike. Research shows that the Safety Stop:

  • reduces interactions between motorists and bicyclists in intersections.
  • reduces crashes in intersections.
  • increases the visibility of bicyclists in the intersection.
  • reduces the number of bicyclist-only injuries associated with starting and stopping on a bicycle.
Man in button down shirt reading from paper

Read testimony in favor of the bill delivered in front of the Senate Transportation and Energy Committee on Tuesday, March 15 by Bicycle Colorado’s Director of Communications and Policy, Jack Todd. 

When bicyclists are able to get out of the intersection and away from that conflict zone before a potential crash can even occur, their safety improves. Data included below backs that up. If signed into law, this bill will have a number of additional benefits, including the fact that it:

  • is not just safety-enhancing policy, but cost-neutral, safety-enhancing policy. The Safety Stop is proven to reduce interactions between motorists and people outside of cars, including crashes.
  • will encourage people to choose non-car modes of transportation, protecting and enhancing our air quality.
  • will attract tourism and increase livability, as shown by the Colorado communities such as Aspen, Breckenridge, Englewood, Thornton and others that have already adopted it.
  • decriminalizes a common-sense behavior and allows law enforcement to focus resources on bigger, more pressing issues
  • creates more uniformity in Colorado law for people who need to (or choose to) use non-car modes of transportation

Recent data out of Delaware, which legalized the maneuver at stop signs in 2017, shows a 23% decrease in crashes in intersections in the 30 months after adoption compared to the 30 months prior. The safety benefits are clear. Now more than ever, as Coloradans continue to discover and rediscover bicycling in record numbers, we need to pass the safety-enhancing legislation.

Finally, Colorado’s current system for adopting the Safety Stop on a community-by-community basis creates a dangerous patchwork of places where this is and is not allowed. It is unrealistic to expect bicyclists to know where they can and cannot do this maneuver legally, and statewide adoption eliminates that confusion. Adoption statewide also signifies an important step in creating consistent, uniform bike laws across the state, which is essential for encouraging bicycling as a sensible, safe and sustainable form of transportation.

Why now?

COVID-19 has created the biggest bike boom the world has ever seen. People are discovering and rediscovering bicycling in droves, as both:

  • a means of transportation that feels safer than public transportation or ride share services during a health crisis.
  • a healthy way to recreate, get outside, and take care of their physical and mental health when under stay-at-home, safer-at-home or protect-our-neighbors restrictions.

It is imperative that the State find ways to protect these new and experienced riders alike. The Safety Stop enhances safety for bicyclists and drivers, and does so at no cost to the State or taxpayers.

 

 

Research in favor of the Safety Stop

Where is the Safety Stop in place?

In Colorado:

  • Aspen
  • Berthoud
  • Breckenridge
  • Dillon
  • Englewood
  • Summit County
  • Thornton

Nationwide:

  • Idaho – since 1982!
  • Delaware – 2017, unanimously reaffirmed by legislature in 2021
  • Arkansas – 2019
  • Oregon – 2019
  • Washington – 2020
  • North Dakota – 2021
  • Utah – 2021
  • Oklahoma – 2021
Bolded communities above indicate communities that adopted after our 2018 law was enacted. 

House Bill 22-1104:
Powerline Trails

 

UPDATE 4/13/2022: The Powerline Trails bill has been signed into law by the Governor!

Multimodal trail under powerlines

The Powerline Trails bill will make it easier for communities to partner with their utility providers to build long-distance multimodal walking, hiking, and bicycling paths underneath these powerlines. This doubles the value of these community assets and makes use of under-utilized land.

Map of different energy providers in Colorado
Woman in green jacket reading from paper

Read testimony in favor of the bill delivered in front of the Senate Transportation and Energy Committee on Tuesday, March 15 by Bicycle Colorado’s Director of Government Relations, Piep van Heuven. 

Similar to “rail trails” along old railroad easements, these powerline trails:

  • Bring outdoor recreation tourism to rural areas of the state
  • Provide a network of safe and fun routes for work, school, or play, away from car traffic
  • Reduce the land acquisition cost of new multimodal paths through public/private partnerships
  • Improve sustainability and community connection

Learn more about the Powerline Trails bill by clicking here.

Thank you for your advocacy! 

If you’d like to support our work, consider becoming a member or making a donation today. 

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The Latest News

  • Jul 12, 2022
  • by Bicycle Colorado
What to do in the case of a crash

  • 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!
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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!