As 2015 comes to a close, it’s time to take a look back at how the year went for bicyclists, pedestrians, and Transfort riders. The following timeline is color coded. There were some incredibly sad events this year, including pedestrian and cyclist deaths. These are noted with a date shown in red. But there were also some real positives that will hopefully pull Fort Collins a little bit closer to being the safe walking and cycling town that we all dream it will be. These are shown with a green date stamp.
The list starts out as a bit of a downer, but that’s only because some very good things aren’t listed until around their completion dates, so they piled up near the end.
January 15 — A pedestrian was hit while crossing E. Horsetooth at College and received minor injuries. The driver of the SUV was cited for failing to yield to a pedestrian at a crosswalk. This crash happened when the motorist was making a right hand turn. (Adrian D. Garcia. “Pedestrian injured after crash near College.” Coloradoan. 15 Jan 2015.)
January 22 — A pedestrian was killed at the intersection of Shields and Prospect. After having safely crossed Shields, the pedestrian turned north to cross Prospect. He stepped off of the sidewalk as the light turned yellow, probably assuming that cars would be stopping and he would be free to cross, but the pedestrian light was still red. A motorist, with frost covered windows, decided to zip through the light on the yellow and ended up hitting the pedestrian. Both the motorist and pedestrian were determined to be at fault. (Jason Pohl. “Driver cited from fatal Fort Collins pedestrian crash.” Coloradoan. 4 Feb 2015.)
January 30 — The woman that hit a Fort Collins cyclist on June 14, 2014 as he traveled south on N. Taft in Loveland, then fled the scene (after checking to make sure her car was alright), was sentenced to four years of supervised probation, public service, and was issued a fine. The severely injured cyclist had a long recovery and is now a bicycling safety advocate. (Jason Pohl. “Woman gets probation for hitting Fort Collins cyclist, fleeing.” Coloradoan. 2 Feb 2015.)
February 9 — A bicyclist was traveling against the direction of traffic on Lemay and was hit when a right turning SUV driver on Elizabeth didn’t see him coming. The bicyclist was cited for using the wrong traffic lane. Don’t be a salmon, people. Ride with the flow of traffic. (Jason Pohl. “Cyclist hospitalized after Monday crash in Fort Collins.” Coloradoan. 9 Feb 2015.)
February 16 — A bicyclist was intentionally hit in the 4400 block of Stoney Creek Drive. I can’t find anything on whether the three or four people in the sedan were ever caught. (Katie de la Rosa. “Suspects in February hit-and-run of cyclist wanted.” Coloradoan. 21 Apr 2015.)
March 10 — A 16 year old pedestrian was hit while on his way to Poudre High School by a motorist that fell asleep at the wheel after working a night shift. The motorist originally fled, but later turned himself in. He received 6 months in jail and 3 years probation. The student is paralyzed from the waist down and may never walk again. If there had been a sidewalk along the edge of Laporte Ave, the motorist might have bumped into the curb rather than the pedestrian. (Jacy Marmaduke. “Hit-and-run driver jailed for crash that paralyzed teen.” Coloradoan. 17 Oct 2015.)
March 20 — A bicyclist was hit by an SUV at the intersection of Lemay and Drake. The woman received non-life-threatening injuries. (Jason Pohl. “Cyclist hospitalized after Friday evening crash.” Coloradoan. 20 Mar 2015.)
March 20 — A bicyclist was hit at the intersection of Snow Mesa Drive and Harmony by a hit-and-run driver from Timnath. A bystander caught the drivers license plate and he was cited for failure to yield and leaving the scene of the accident. The cyclist was not seriously injured. (Jason Pohl. “Hit-and-run crash injures cyclist in south Fort Collins.” Coloradoan. 21 Mar 2015.)
April 13 — A bicyclist was hit by a red-light-running SUV driver at the intersection of Whedbee and Mulberry. The cyclist miraculously came out of the crash relatively unscathed. (Jason Pohl. “Bicyclist hit in Fort Collins crash.” Coloradoan. 13 Apr 2015.)
April 22 — A bicyclist caused a motorcyclist to wreck after pulling into his lane, then slowing down to a walk according to eye-witnesses. The bicyclist then fled the scene. The motorcyclist received several non-life-threatening injuries. (Jason Pohl. “Bicyclist sought in hit-and-run motorcycle crash.” Coloradoan. 27 May 2015.)
April 22 — Eighteen Fort Collins companies were added to the list of Bike Friendly Businesses by the League of American Bicyclists. To get a sense of which Fort Collins companies were on the list by this point, check out this Pedal Fort Collins post which explains what BFBs are and which companies were on board by last June (including ones that were added before 2015).
May 23 — Meg published the first Pedal Fort Collins post and introduced herself to Fort Collins transportation users.
May 28 — A pedestrian was hit after getting dropped off by friends along Mulberry and crossing to the other side of the street near the intersection of Mulberry and Washington. The crash left him in critical condition. (“Fort Collins police investigate pedestrian collision.” Coloradoan. 29 May 2015.)
June 6 — A cyclist in the bike lane was hit by an SUV driving teen who swerved right to avoid hitting a truck and trailer ahead of him. The teenager was charged with careless driving, a Class 1 traffic misdemeanor. (Adrian D. Garcia. “‘Ghost bike’ memorial to be held for dead cyclist.” Coloradoan. 30 Jun 2015.)
June 7 — Open Streets on W. Elizabeth was a blast. Attendance was high, pedestrians and bicyclists alike attended, and everyone I talked to really enjoyed themselves.
June 24 — Bike to Work Day celebrated people who use a bicycle for transportation.
June 24 — Bike Fort Collins held its first public viewing of the newly updated You Know Me, I Ride a Bike campaign.
June 26 — A cyclist was hit by a dump truck while crossing over I-25 on Kechter Road. He later died of his injuries. The dump truck driver was convicted but hasn’t yet been sentenced. In the meantime, a team was brought in to reconstruct the accident to make sure everyone in the court understood what happened. (Jason Pohl. “Contracted team to reconstruct fatal bike crash.” Coloradoan. 23 Oct 2015.)
July — The new and improved bike map, complete with low-stress-routes, came out this month. Learn more about the map and how to use it in, “The Fort Collins Bike Map: a great way to find low-stress routes.”
July 27 — A 14 year old pedestrian was hit while crossing at Orchard Place and Timber Lane. The driver of the SUV stopped and got out of her vehicle, but left before the police arrived. The 14 year old sustained serious injuries. The SUV driver was found and arrested. (Jason Pohl. “Woman, 21, arrested for Monday hit-and-run crash.” Coloradoan. 28 Jul 2015.)
August 6 — A Bicycle Town Hall meeting was held with panel participants from the County, City, realm of bicycle law and advocacy, the DA’s office and more. The meeting provided local cycling residents a chance to express their safety concerns about riding in Fort Collins and Larimer County as well as a fair bit of anger over the punishments (or lack thereof) for motorists that kill or injure bicyclists.
August 26 — Eight Fort Collins businesses were added to the Bike Friendly Businesses list. Another was moved up from Honorable Mention. And yet another was added to the Honorable mention list. The list of companies can be found in the Pedal Fort Collins post, “September Bicycle News & Events in Fort Collins.”
September 1 — A pedestrian walking against the light was hit at the intersection of Mountain and College and sustained minor injuries. (Jason Pohl. “Pedestrian, driver identified after Old Town crash.” Coloradoan. 2 Sep 2015.)
September 5 — Tour de Fat raised a significant amount of money for the Overland Mountain Bike Club, Bike Fort Collins and Fort Collins Bike Co-Op. (Unfortunately, yours truly had her worst TdF experience ever. :-\ After talking to others it seems like it was a bit of a mixed bag for many attendees.)
Mid-September — By mid-September, most of the improvements to Laurel (between Howes and Remington) and to the intersection of Horsetooth and Timberline were completed. Check out the changes in “Updates on the Laurel/Remington, N. Shields/W. Vine, and Horsetooth/Timberline projects.”
Mid-September — The improvements to the Remington Greenway were (mostly) completed in time for the Open Streets event. Learn more about the changes made during the Remington Greenway improvements in this “Remington Greenway” post.
September 16 — A sidewalk riding bicyclist pulled in front of a right turning SUV driver at the intersection of Doctors Lane and Lemay Ave. The cyclist sustained minor injuries. Neither the motorist nor cyclist were cited, though the Coloradoan article hints the cyclist was in the wrong. (If the cyclist was on the sidewalk and didn’t have a pedestrian walk light, then technically the cyclist was acting illegally.) Remember that just because a vehicle has a red light doesn’t mean it’s safe to cross in front of it. Make sure you’ve made eye contact before crossing (even when you do have the pedestrian walk sign in your favor). (Katie de la Rosa. “Cyclist injured in crash with SUV.” Coloradoan. 16 Sep 2015.)
September 20 — Open Streets was held again, this time along the all new Remington Greenway. Overheard while attending, “This is soooo awesome! How have I missed this before?! I’m going to come every year!”
Early-October — The city of Fort Collins is pursuing their plans to host several bike cages along the MAX corridor for safe bicycle storage as evidence by the new cage now located at the South Transit Station. Read more about it in, “Fort Collins Bike ‘n Ride.”
October — The newspaper announced that MAX ridership was so good this past year that additional busses had to be added to handle the load during peak hours. Now that’s a good kind of problem to have! (Katie de la Rosa. “Record passenger numbers causes MAX growing pains.” Coloradoan. 13 Oct 2015.)
Mid-October — After checking out the improvements underway along N. Shields, I noted that there were no curb cuts (ramps) between the entrance ramps to the Poudre Trail and the street. After contacting the Larimer County engineering folks, and encouraging a prominent cyclist to do so as well, we received a positive response and new curb cuts were added in October. Cyclists spoke up and the county listened! Read more in “Speaking Out Leads to a Win for Cyclists.”
Mid-October — The Fort Collins Bike Co-op moved into their new diggs at 1501 N. College Ave. You can find out more about the Bike Co-op on their website, but I’ve got to admit that I’m a big fan of their Instagram pics and I think you’ll have a bit more fun heading that way.
October 20 — Bike Fort Collins (the local bicycle advocacy organization) announced the addition of a paid Executive Director position, which was filled by Chris Johnson. The leadership of the organization has been largely run through the all volunteer board, making this new position a positive move towards making BFC a more formidable advocacy and education organization in the city.
November 2 — A Pedestrian and her dog were hit at the intersection of Elizabeth and City Park Avenue. After safely crossing, the woman apparently ran back into the street to grab her wayward pooch when she was hit by a truck that had just gotten the green light. She sustained serious injuries. (Katie de la Rosa. “No charges filed in pedestrian, truck crash near CSU.” Coloradoan. 8 Dec 2015.)
November 13 — A pedestrian was hit at the intersection of Laurel and College by a black SUV which fled the scene. The pedestrian had the right of way. He came away with non-life-threatening injuries. This hit-and-run occurred while the motorist was making a right hand turn. (Jason Pohl. “Pedestrian injured in Friday hit-and-run crash.” Coloradoan. 14 Nov 2015.)
Mid-November — Improvements were completed at the zig-zag between Heatheridge, Prospect and Lynnwood. Though the Coloradoan desperately tried to dig up some controversy around the changes, it appears to be a win for bicyclists using this connection. Read all about it in “Nifty Improvements to the offset intersection of Heathridge, Prospect, and Lynnwood.”
December 9 — “A Ribbon Cutting Ceremony for the N. Shields Project” took place to celebrate the tremendous amount of collaboration and work that was done on North Shields between Vine and Willox. This project was a huge win for bicyclists not only along N. Shields, but also on the Poudre River Trail where it passes under N. Shields.
December 10 — Qualfon was added to the Honorable Mention list in the League of American Bicyclists Bike Friendly Businesses list. (Amelia Neptune. “There Are Now 1090 Bicycle Friendly Businesses in 49 States.” League of American Bicyclists Blog. 10 Dec 2015.)
December 14 — Bike to Work Day celebrated people who use a bicycle for transportation… in winter!
December — The word is out that work on College Avenue is done. I haven’t seen it with my own eyes yet, but this should mean that sidewalks and bike lanes have been added to N. College where previously there were none. This is HUGE!
I’m sure I missed events that took place this past year. If there’s something you think should be added to the list, please note them in the comments.
December 22, 2015 at night I was hit by a vehicle going full speed ahead while walking legally in the crosswalk at City Park and University. Hit from behind. Two surgeries needed, first done, second one when I am strong enough for crutches not yet…it has destroyed my life on every possible level. Driver didn’t slow down or see me because he didn’t take time to defrost and couldn’t even see me. Would have taken one extra minute for him, I am in pain every day.
Oh no! It’s stories like this that don’t seem to hit the newspaper. But they should be in there. The safety of vulnerable road users needs to constantly be put in front of our faces or we forget to slow down, to look, to signal. The urgency of the moment takes over. But every time we hear of a story like this is reminds us that saving 10 seconds during our trip is not worth the loss or damage to life that we can cause.
I hope you’re able to make a full recovery, Sabrina. So sorry this happened to you. Thanks for sharing your story and adding it to our list for 2015.