BOULDER COUNTY, Colo (KDVR) — Nearly two weeks after a cyclist was killed on a Boulder County road, a memorial continues to grow at the scene of the crash.
Police say 39-year-old Alejandro Acosta was riding down Lee Hill Drive on July 15 when a driver turned in front of him and killed him.
“It’s not a matter of if, but when somebody is going to lose their life here,” county resident Skip Meador said. “And it happened.”
‘This isn’t bikes against cars’
Meador has lived off Lee Hill Drive for 24 years. He said it’s quickly become a favorite for cyclists across the world.
“There’s now thousands of people that ride this road every day,” Meador said. “It’s an unbelievable amount of bikes on a road that hasn’t changed in 40 years.”
Four years ago, Meador created BikesBeSafe.com. Through the site, he said he hopes to convince county officials to make safety improvements on the roadway — but he said little has been done since.
“This isn’t bikes against cars. This isn’t trying to get bikes off the road. It’s straight up trying to get the county to acknowledge the reality of this road and other roads here,” Meador said.
Meador said Acosta’s death only underscores the need for changes, including the addition of bike lanes and barriers for cyclists around certain blind turns.
County considering improvements
A spokesperson with Boulder County Public Works said they are looking into potential changes, but they won’t come cheap.
We’ve already installed signage to alert both drivers and riders of their obligations to be aware of each-others presence and to share the road. We have signs that ask cyclists to ride single-file around curves and those that remind drivers to give cyclists three-feet of room when passing. We’re currently analyzing what else can be done to increase safety for everyone on this steep, winding road. While it would be great to make the road wider to provide more room for everyone, that project would be a massive undertaking that would likely cost several million dollars. That’s not to say we aren’t exploring that option, because we are. The project would be difficult to engineer and costly because we’d need to gather the extra space by removing the steep, rocky hillside on the uphill side of the road. There isn’t much room to work with in many areas on the downhill side. This would require purchasing a lot of land from property owners and then conducting a major excavating operation that would likely require blasting. The project will take years to plan and design and likely a few more to build.”
Meador said he appreciates the on-going dialogue, but he’s concerned it’s only a matter of time before tragedy happens here again.
“At the very least, they could address the most dangerous spots for the bikes and the cars and just fix it,” he said.
Boulder County said it has dedicated Public Works and Community Planning and Permitting staff members to working with neighbors and cycling advocacy groups on the issue.