Although never seriously injured, Bill Gerblick has been hit seven times while riding his bike. Three of those times were in Littleton and two were …
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Although never seriously injured, Bill Gerblick has been hit
seven times while riding his bike. Three of those times were in
Littleton and two were on Mineral Avenue. Gerblick hopes the new
proposed bike lanes for Mineral Avenue will make pedaling safer for
him and other cyclists.
Although presently there are bike lanes on some of Littleton’s
streets, this will be the first on a major arterial highway. The
project will add a bike lane on both directions of Mineral Avenue
between Broadway and Santa Fe Drive. Proponents are hoping the
project can be extended from Dry Creek Road to South Platte Canyon
Councilmember Debbie Brinkman consulted with Bicycle Colorado,
an organization dedicated to improving bicycling in the state, on
“They felt it was an absolutely perfect place to put a lane,”
she said. “From the beginning, it was a no-brainer for me. I’m
thrilled we are moving forward with this.”
Brinkman said new lanes will help drivers and cyclists know how
to share the road. Bikes are allowed on sidewalks in the city, but
Brinkman said it can be dangerous for pedestrians, families or
dog-walkers to share the sidewalk with commuters on bikes.
Littleton Mayor Doug Clark agreed. He added that causal bikers
can still use the sidewalk along Mineral Avenue.
“I see this as a step in the right direction,” Clark said.
Littleton Public Services Director Charlie Blosten said his
department will begin the road striping and installing signs this
spring or summer. Although Mineral Avenue is wide enough to
accommodate cyclists, Blosten said the new lanes might take some
getting used to for drivers.
“It’s going to be a little confusing at first,” Blosten said.
“There’s going to be lines on the street that didn’t appear in the
past so people will look at them a little strange. I’m hopeful that
cyclists will use this new lane to draw attention to it.”
According to a memo from the senior engineer on the project,
Craig Faessler, the minimum width for a lane to accommodate both
cars and bikes is 14 feet. The curb lane of Mineral Avenue is 22
feet wide, more than wide enough for a designated bike lane.
Gerblick has been commuting to work by bike for 25 years. He
rides his three-wheeled recumbent bike along Mineral Avenue to his
job at the Waterton Canyon facility 12 miles away.
“I just purely enjoy it,” Gerblick said. “I get to work very
refreshed and ready to go. It’s better than sitting in a car.”
Gerblick says he sees other cyclists regularly on Mineral Avenue
and that he is not the only commuter to use that route. He said the
new bike lanes will raise awareness of cyclists and help make it
safer for them.
“It just reinforces that bikes are part of the transportation
equation right now,” he said. “That’s all I want.”
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