But to avoid bicycle crashes, experts warn against riding on Colfax, Lincoln and Broadway.
In 2012, the Westword reported that four of seven most dangerous intersections in Denver were on Broadway and Lincoln. As you may expect, the numbers of accidents rise with heavier traffic and proximity to downtown. Colfax, 11th Ave., and 8th Ave were at the top of the list.
Byron Norris and Phillip Brown have seen that firsthand. Norris, a dispatcher for Speedy Messenger Service, and an avid cyclist says “avoid Broadway. There’s no bike lane and there’s heavy traffic. Some people use the bus lane but you can be ticketed if you’re using it as a bike lane, so you have to merge with three lanes of heavy traffic. Same with Lincoln.”
Philip Brown, the sales manager at Salvagetti Bicycle Workshop in Denver, says “there are certain roads that, in my mind, cyclists should just never be on. Any three lane one-way street. Broadway, Lincoln. And Colfax avenue. Throughout most of Colfax, there is parking along the side of the street but the parking is rather narrow, so a lot of cyclists will weave in and out of parking spaces then back into traffic.”
“It was hit and run… I don’t know if the guy ever knew he hit me. Some lady came up to me as I was lying on some steps and dialed 911. The ambulance arrived and took me to Denver Health.”
Both men know the costs of driver’s mistakes. Brown has been hit three times. Norris has been hit on his bicycle seven times. The most recent was Christmas of last year. “It was hit and run… I don’t know if the guy ever knew he hit me. Some lady came up to me as I was lying on some steps and dialed 911. The ambulance arrived and took me to Denver Health.”
Bicycle accident attorney Brian Weiss has handled numerous bicycle accident cases, always on the side of the injured cyclists. He has heard all sorts of explanations from drivers. “The most common are ‘I didn’t see him, the sun was in my eyes, or another car cut me off and forced me to go there (into the path of a cyclist). None are effective defenses.” Weiss’ goal in court is to prove the driver’s negligence. That is, that “the driver was just not paying as much attention as he should,” says Weiss.
Colorado state law says that drivers must allow three feet of space when passing cyclists. – 42-4-1002, CRS
Weiss suggests a few ways to protect yourself. “Look at your auto insurance policy. Frequently the medical portion covers bicycling as well. There are also non-owner auto policies if you want insurance but don’t own a car.” Just as with auto accidents, having underinsured/uninsured motorist coverage attached to your auto policy may protect you if you are the victim of a hit and run accident on your bicycle – such as Norris was.