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June 5, 2024

SIGNED! Bill to Better Protect Bicyclists and Pedestrians Becomes Law

Legislation will fund infrastructure projects like bicycle lanes, improved sidewalks and lighting at dangerous intersections

DENVER, CO – Legislation that will fund safe infrastructure improvements for bicyclists and pedestrians was signed into law by Governor Polis today.

Sponsored by Senate Assistant Majority Leader Faith Winter, D-Westminster, and Senator Lisa Cutter, D-Jefferson County, as well as Representatives Mandy Lindsay, D-Aurora, and William Lindstedt, D-Broomfield, SB24-195 establishes a dedicated funding source for proven small infrastructure projects that improve safety for vulnerable road users, such as bicycle lanes, pedestrian refuge islands, and sidewalk and lighting improvements at dangerous intersections. 

The bill accomplishes these goals by dedicating $7 million annually from the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) Road Safety Fund for these projects, acknowledging the growing importance of this infrastructure in our transportation system. In addition, the bill directs CDOT to establish declining targets for vulnerable road user fatalities and serious bodily injuries and to report progress to the legislature in its annual performance plan. 

“Protecting Coloradans by preventing avoidable deaths and serious injuries is a moral imperative in its own right,” Winter said. “Quality sidewalks and protected bike lanes give people safe, dignified, and low-cost alternatives to driving, which will reduce traffic, improve air quality, cut climate pollution, and make our streets more vibrant community places.”

“From e-biking and running in our neighborhoods to walking to work, Coloradans want our streets to be a safe place to walk and ride,” said Lindsay. “Our new law helps communities use proven methods, like protected bike lanes and speed cameras, to protect cyclists, pedestrians, and other road users.”

“Bicyclist and pedestrian deaths have spiked to a frightening degree, and we must take action,” said Cutter. “Our new law will support safety projects that are proven to reduce traffic deaths. When our streets are safer and friendlier, people will feel more comfortable traveling outside of a car.”

“We have passed numerous laws recently to encourage alternatives to car transportation, and these laws are most effective when our roads are structured to protect all of our road users,” said Lindstedt. “With this new law, we’re securing funding for projects to protect bicyclists, pedestrians, and other vulnerable road users to allow Coloradans to more safely travel on our streets.”

SB24-195 also streamlines CDOT’s ability to use speed cameras to improve safety on dangerous stretches of state highways like construction zones by clarifying authority and coordination with local governments. Authority to use speed cameras was expanded by SB23-200 to help limit speeding, a major cause of avoidable traffic crashes. 

Deaths and serious injuries on Colorado’s roads are on the rise, felt most acutely by vulnerable road users like pedestrians and cyclists. Bicyclist and pedestrian deaths reached an all-time high in 2023 with 153 deaths, topping the previous high set just one year before.

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