DENVER (KDVR) — Colorado drivers will need to give cyclists more room on the road.
The “Three Foot” law requires drivers to provide three feet of space to those riding bicycles when passing.
As part of Colorado Bike Month, the Colorado Department of Transportation and the Bicycle Colorado organization announced new signs that will inform drivers of the requirement.
“I know drivers may be thinking they need to cross a double line to protect a cyclist. The law does take that into account and states the drivers are allowed to cross a double yellow line to pass,” CDOT Executive Director Shoshana Lew said.
Thirty-five states currently have three-foot clearance laws in place. CDOT reports 20 cyclists died on the road in 2019.
Professional cyclist and globally recognized triathlete John Phillips of TriBella Sports told FOX31 that safety laws protect the cyclist and the driver by reducing the risk of crashes.
“Cyclists are not going to go away, motorists are not going to go away. We need to embrace each other so we can use all of our resources as effectively and safely as possible,” said Phillips, who added that demand for mountain bikes is increasing among those who want to avoid cycling on city streets.
He and others who petitioned for the law say mutual respect for safety is the only way to move forward.
“When we’re in a car passing a bike, be nicer, on a bike passing a pedestrian, be nicer, and all of the above,” Phillips said.
More than 75% of Colorado residents own at least one bicycle. Phillips said there’s a good reason for the sport’s popularity, explaining that cycling “is just magical. It gives you these endorphins and physical, mental and emotional well-being.”