Reckless at CU

Quotes from this Spring's campaign.

Matthew: "Therefore skaters need to be allowed in the bike lanes to free up sidewalk space for people who just want to walk."
Anonymous: "As a biker, I would like to see more law enforcement applied to bikers (and skateboarders, rollerbladers, unicyclists, etc)."
Kathryn K: "There need to be consequences for this behavior (both walking in the bike lanes and crossing roads incorrectly) so pedestrians will get in the habit of following the rules."
Scott: " signs at every bus stop that stops next to the bike path to alert people exiting the bus that they are about to walk across the bike lane.
Jezebelsmiles: "Education WILL help… It's not overhauling the whole system, it's expanding it and working to safely accommodate everyone."
Brett.Edgerly: "It's not worth overhauling the entire system for a few people."
Anonymous: "…force students, and staff to take a class called common sense 101 and 201."
Anonymous: "…pedestrians need to shoulder some of the burden as well."
Anonymous: "…[educate] students more about the fact that bikers/boarders need to take care around pedestrians and especially those with guide dogs and/or canes."
Zach: "…people just need to get over it."
Kathryn K: "…[put] curbs between the bike and walking lanes, which I think could also help with this issue (assuming there were bumps or something installed on the ground at the entrances to the bike lane so blind pedestrians could tell which was which)."
Anonymous: "I would like for all bicyclists and skateboarders to comply with "pedestrians" and "motor vehicles" right of way."
Anonymous: "[we should have] parking lots for bikes just like for vehicles. Very near campus but not within."
John.rudolph: "Biking with headphones is illegal and should be enforced. …stick to the roads and designated bike paths [on] campus."
Anonymous: "…the sanctions you're suggesting create greater consequences than they would avoid."
Anonymous: "How about requiring bells and lights on all bikes to give pedestrians warning?"
Erika Lenz: "I sincerely hope that this discussion results the designation of "wheeled transport only" zones on campus, which are crossed by pedestrian crosswalks at which the riders are expected to STOP or, even better, some sort of overpass/underpass system."
Allison: "…it is important to walk/ride to the right and pass to the left, and to look around before making a major change of trajectory."
Erika Lenz: "Some fundamental rules need to be set and ENFORCED… We need to protect the safety of ALL pedestrians."
Charles.hamilton: "It's as much up to the distracted pedestrians as it is to others to watch out."
Johnb: "[Skateboarders] need the ability to avoid accidents without bailing and sending [their] skateboard off like a missile."
Anonymous: "Walk and look up from your electronically attached device, and cyclist, get off your bike anywhere that is not specifically designed for you."
Anonymous: "Walk and look up from your electronically attached device, and cyclist, get off your bike anywhere that is not specifically designed for you."
Anonymous: "It is up to you the cyclist [to] use restraint or the privilege should be taken away from the entire campus…"

Tawnya: "Cyclists need skills."

Tawnya suggests: "Cyclists need skills."

Blog Staff Two: Ouch. Harsh. I think you've fallen culprit to the unfortunate circumstance of generalizing fault to all cyclists. Here in Boulder, let's not kid ourselves, our per-cyclist average bicycle-handling-IQ is probably eras ahead of the national average. However, we see an influx of thousands of new students coming to CU from "out-of-town". We do need to help them raise their skills, but we're not going to improve quickly if everyone, teachers included, get generalized like this.

Blog Staff Three: What separates a DIRC from a cyclist or skater is their skills. As an avid cyclist, I pride myself on my skills. I definitely maintain respect for pedestrians, roads, and disabled people alike but I still enjoy my ride and get a good wind through my hair. A skilled cyclist/skater is one who looks like a pro riding while maintaining a position of safety, respect, and keen awareness. Basically, a ninja on wheels.

Blog Staff Four: Well, there are skills and then there is common sense. I think what is lacking in many cyclists, skateboarders, and pedestrians alike is common sense. Those with skills and common sense are my favorite type of cyclist because they know how to ride, are educated on the "rules of the road", but also know when they might be putting themselves or others into a dangerous situation and therefore modify their behavior. I don't know how to educate the ones without skills or common sense, because they don't even have the sense to think about the fact that they don't have skills and therefore will never make the effort to improve. I guess when they hurt themselves or others they might just get a clue.

Blog Staff Five: How quickly you forget your formative years. I'm a believer that everyone capable needs to learn how to ride a bike, it should be a part of elementary school's required curriculum. With this being said, I understand and appreciate frustrations around lower skilled bikers and skaters, but recognize their attempt to progress. Remember: if an unskilled rider hops on their bike, they're working to improve. What bothers me aren't the unskilled riders but those who hate on people for trying. I didn't learn how to ride a bike until 7th grade, and for many years would refuse to go out with friend in fear of embarrassing myself. If you really want to improve unskilled riders, encourage them to ride, don't haze them; you may end up ruining their motivation to keep on truckin'.

Blog Staff Six: WRONG. Sorry if you happened to be the victim of a cycling accident or two, but so have many of us, even while cycling completely without fault. Many cyclists do not need skills on this campus so much as they need to check their speed and pay more attention. Cyclists are often traveling at higher speeds, which makes them slightly more predictable than the wandering pedestrians on campus...they're not going to suddenly make a 180 degree turn and collide right into whoever is behind them, unlike pedestrians. Cyclists should be more wary of the speed of their commute, and should maybe pay a little more attention, but if anyone on this campus needs more skills, it's the unpredictable pedestrians strolling into the bike lanes.

Farcedude: "No show-boating on campus."

Farcedude suggests: "No show-boating on campus."

Blog Staff Two: There is a time and place for everything. Even those super-duper show-boaters, doing "observed trials" practice on campus do so later in the afternoon after the majority of people are off the sidewalks. I'm not a fan of a categorical elimination of trick-riders from campus, but doing so in a "show-boating" manner somewhat implicitly involves large crowds. If it's not an organized performance, then it's just plain in-the-way, and downright dangerous. Forget the embarrassment of failing at show-boating, GET YOUR TIRE-MARKS OFF MY FACE!

Blog Staff Three: There are two type of DIRC's, the show-boaters and the oblivious riders. Both make campus, especially areas like the tunnel at Kittredge, a shady place to get around. Our campus is such a sweet place to ride a bicycle or skateboard; it's so easy and beautiful. What's it going to take to get the show-boaters to see they don't have anything they need to prove or the oblivious riders to realize operating a bicycle or skateboard requires paying attention?

Blog Staff Four: The majority of campus pathways were designed for getting from point A to point B, not for showing off or doing tricks on your bike. Cyclists that think they have skills and then ride too fast, weave, cut corners, and ride too close to people are of the most dangerous of cyclists on this campus. It doesn't even matter if everyone around them is paying attention, at a high rate of speed or when passing someone with only a foot of room, it only takes a second for an accident to happen. Stop showing off "show-boaters": I'm not impressed.

Blog Staff Five: No show-boating ever! I'm not a fan of show-boaters, even if they drop jaws. Campus serves no justice to hardcore riding, it just isn't the correct terrain for the sport. Sure I've jumped curbs, but not into oncoming pedestrian traffic. It goes back to recognizing the situation. If you think that racing through campus and dropping steps makes you "rad", then you need to locate more self-awareness. DIRCs suck, and they mess up the dynamics of bikers to pedestrians. If you want to be dangerous, irresponsible, reckless, and careless go ride the trails. Boulder offers a great spread and if you only ride campus, you're missing out.

Blog Staff Six: Although I'll admit that it is definitely irritating to be forced to bear witness to the occasional egotistical cyclist's latest tricks, maybe there's a reason why it's such a prevalent event on campus. They have no where else to go. Although cycling in Boulder is ever-evolving, it is no where near the bike culture in Denver, where fixie-riders may ally-cat to their heart's content, and BMX riders have the largest skate-park in Colorado at their disposal. Maybe if these show-boaters were actually given more designated times and places to compete (which is obviously what they want), they would not be endangering the rest of campus. The answer is simple, but it will take some time...develop the bike culture in Boulder and give them somewhere to go...give 'em a crowd!

Mark: "Walk your bike or board on campus when you have to."

Mark suggests: "Walk your bike or board on campus when you have to."

Blog Staff One: That would be nice at times wouldn't it? Although I do not disagree with you, some people ride their bikes or skateboards for fun; yes, but others do it to make it across campus. I don't want to force people to always walk their bike or boards but to do it when it is too congested. There is nothing wrong with riding or boarding on campus as long as we do it safely. I think sometimes people forget to realize the safety of others while they are having a little too much fun riding on campus.

Blog Staff Two: OK. As much as I like my freedom, it's got to be expected that there are some areas on campus that are simply too congested to ride through. I mean, it's like Times Square out by Ekeley sidewalk during class change. Or in front of Engineering? Personally, I've been somewhat strategic about just riding around those areas. If I have to go through there, I think it's just not worth the weirdness of trying to ride through it. All it takes is one quick clip of the handlebars and... YARD SALE! Embarrassment is only the beginning of that problem.

Blog Staff Four: Exactly! Of course a lot of people are cycling to get where they are going faster, but sometimes it just doesn't make sense to stay on your bike or board when the pathways are crowded. It'll eat up a lot more of your time if you get into an accident because you should have dismounted. If you absolutely can't bear to dismount for the couple of minutes it will take you to get through a crowded area, then find a different route through campus!

Blog Staff Five: I agree, yet feel a smarter solution becomes riding in areas of minimal congestion. It shocks me to see people trying to sieve through a crowded sidewalk on their bicycle; A) it damages your bottom bracket by exerting so much weight on your pedals, and B) you clog up walking lanes. Finding alternative routes helps you navigate campus faster, prevents accidents, and most importantly creates better riding experiences. I ride my bike on campus, and rarely encounter a crowd. These routes are my secret, but I do suggest taking the path less traveled, you won't regret it.

Blog Staff Six: If people would be more willing to simply exercise judgment while riding through crowds on campus, this would not be such a problem. Although even with judgment, there will always be the rogue cyclist who thinks campus is just one big obstacle course of live targets. I think these people are more of a problem than the average cyclist with good balance and a watchful eye. I have found that if you're careful enough, there is rarely a time when you absolutely must dismount. It's the occasional idiot intentionally weaving through crowds at ridiculous speeds that gives all campus cyclists a bad name.

Casey: "Stop, and learn how to stop."

Casey suggests: "Cyclists need to stop at stop signs and skateboarders/longboarders need to learn how to stop and slow down around campus."

Blog Staff One: It's great you brought this up.You are absolutely right about boarders on campus not being able to stop. As boarders, they have taken on the responsibility of having fun but at the same time they should realize their inability to stop can seriously injure others around them. We all have to face these problems whether we are safe riders or not. There are some riders out there that give safe riders a bad reputation. As much as they may seem unfair, those citations the police are handing out are certainly reminders that we all need to stop at times.

Blog Staff Two: Alright. I like this. It's true; as much as I'd like to think of myself as a dang good cyclist, I wonder sometimes if it really came down to a bad situation, could I stop? On one end, if I rely too heavily on my brake (yep, I've got just one up front), I'll end-o. On the other end, if I don't, then I'm playing a very sketchy game of chicken with much larger vehicles. Myself, as well as others, I expect, could use some practice in anticipating situations and beginning the stop or at least negotiation somewhat earlier.

Blog Staff Three: There needs to be more order on the sidewalks. I don't necessarily demand every bicycler or skater to totally entirely stop per se at stop signs, but I don't think people should just be cruisin' thru them without slowing down and knowing what's going on at the intersection. I feel like the real message is Be Aware, Pay Attention. People have been killed and seriously injured from bicycle and skateboard accidents and it makes campus a dangerous place to travel if people aren't paying attention.

Blog Staff Four: Yes, everyone needs to learn when they legally need to stop, but more importantly is to SLOW DOWN! The faster you are going the longer it will take to stop and the easier it will be to get into an accident when someone steps out in front of you.

Blog Staff Five: "The stop signs with white trim are optional." I often tell myself this when rolling through those silly red octagons, but should I be so quick to rationalize my defiance? I think this one comes down to a situational approach. Both riders and skaters need to stop in high traffic areas, especially on campus. Always assume the other person isn't paying attention. However if you find yourself coasting through an open neighborhood and you don't fully plant a stop, I don't think it should be a punishable offense. We ride for a reason, not because we want special privilege, but because a bike and skateboard functions differently than an automobile–police and lawmakers need to recognize the situation.

Blog Staff Six: Although I agree that us cyclists need to learn how to stop (mainly for our own good), I disagree completely with the concept of citations. Monetary punishments anger not educate students. Instead of making them resentful towards campus police, use the opportunity to educate campus commuters. Or better yet, put them to work educating others (teaching is a great way to learn) on the little-known fact that cyclists and other commuters are actually required by law to follow traffic laws...because many people on bikes-not necessarily just the hardcore, spandex-wearing cyclist, but also the average student on the way to class-think that they are exempt from traffic laws if not driving a motorized vehicle. Stop fining, start educating.

Amelia: Letter

Blog Editor's note: We have chosen to repost this comment in entirety so that our readers and participants might re-read this without staff writer commentary.

"Personally, I have had trouble with boarders almost hitting me or flying past me in close range and w/o slowing down at all. As a person who uses a guide dog to navigate campus and all of Boulder and the surrounding cities, I'd like to add something from the perspective of someone who cannot see. I am one of the people who ends up being a pedestrian in the bicycle lanes. A guide dog cannot read signs or symbols, even though they are awesome animals in so many ways. They are trained to basically travel in a straight line, to choose the most obvious paths unless given a different direction, and to keep the person they guide away from obstacles. As a result, most guide dogs like to hug the left side of a sidewalk, a hall, and a path. Personally, I have trained my dog, more or less, to stay to the right side of the bike paths, because I understand that being on the left side of most paths or hallways means going against the flow of traffic. However, knowing which parts of a path are for pedestrians and which are for wheels is sort of hard to tell. I have had cyclists shout at me as they ride past me, but I ddon't really know what a good solution is. I am happy to stay in pedestrian areas, but if you can't see lines painted on the ground, you can't really do much. Furthermore, if someone is using a cane, they have reasons for sometimes hugging the left side of a path. For example, if they have a left turn coming up, they will follow the left of a sidewalk so as to find the space where the turn is. If there are over hanging tree branches or traffic polles or parking meters on the right side of the path, it just makes more sense to stick to the side of the path w/o regular obstacles. If cyclists would like to ride quickly, I would ask them to stay on the streets. There are traffic laws surrounding how cars need to interact with cyclists. If I were able to doo so, I would love to ride my bike around town, but I have not yet trained my dog to steer a bike. So, I sympathize with the frustrations cyclists feel towards pedestrians, but please keep in mind that some of us are limited in our options. Thanks."

Kyle: "Stop texting and walking."

Kyle suggests: "Stop texting and walking."

Blog Staff Two: Well, I think this is a tricky one. Mostly because at first glance, that sounds reasonable. But then... what next? "Stop talking and walking"? Probably not, but I don't like where it's going. Call me crazy, but I'm a big fan of a completely unrestricted walking environment on campus. I mean, it's walking! What's the worst danger that a chaotic pedestrian poses? Probably going to trip, run into a wall, tree, and probably another person. It's those kinds of run-ins that spark interaction, and has been the title activity of several romantic comedy movies.

Blog Staff Three: It's interesting that people actually try to steer themselves through texting on the phone. If we were an alien visitor, we would probably assume that was their little remote control they drive themselves with. As an alien we would probably also assume they were related to lemmings and would run themselves off the edge of a cliff judging by the way they steered themselves with their little remote controls.

Blog Staff Four: I agree, but this applies to skateboarders and cyclists as well. Everyone needs to pay more attention to where they're going and take some responsibility for their personal safety. This is a beautiful campus, why not put the phone away and enjoy the view? Or, take the headphones off and listen to what's going on around you? There's more to life than being plugged in 24/7.

Blog Staff Five: I find myself perplexed by our fetish for the cellphone. Texting removes you from the current moment and perpetuates a culture where direct conversation ceases to exist. Now that I've expressed my radical distaste for technology, let me address the issue of texting and walking. People instantly grab their phones in vulnerable moments, it somehow validates their position in that space. I think some people may benefit if they walked between buildings without texting random thoughts. Try pretending that your parents don't pay your texting bill, and consider a world where you must say hello or make eye contact as you pass your fellow man. It may be scary, but who knows, you might meet someone special, in need, or just down right cute.

Blog Staff Six: This is a tricky issue, on account of the fact that it appears (scarily) to be completely impossible to keep people from texting and driving. People are never going to be willing to stop texting while doing other commuting activities, and so it becomes the responsibility of the cyclist or those around the texters to be especially alert when commuting. Sorry!

RongXanh: "Ride with a light at night."

RongXanh suggests: "Ride with a light at night."

Blog Staff Two: Good one. There's two purposes to a light, one of which I find much more important than the other. First, so others can easily notice you. Second (and less useful) so you can see. There are lots of light systems out there that work to light the path–actually a basic $30 headlamp is even more versatile and just as effective. Personally, I rely on street-lighting for most of my needs. However, far and away more important is the ability for car-drivers, pedestrians, other cyclists to notice you. I find that even at night, I'm relying on several standard roadway norms, such as turn signals, lanes, etc., and unless I'm noticeable, I simply don't exist in that framework, so I can't expect to be treated accordingly.

Blog Staff Three: It is a law to have a light on your bike at night in Boulder. You should have a white light up front and a red light in the back. Many bike laws could be considered controversial or situational but this one makes absolute sense. So much so that it shouldn't have to be a law.

Blog Staff Four: Yes, again with the common sense. If it is dark out and you have no lights on your bike or person, how in the world is anyone supposed to see you? Not only are you running a huge risk of getting hit by a car, but you are even more dangerous to those sharing pathways or bike lanes with you. It is an uncomfortable feeling to be walking along at night only to have a dark shape rushing at you. It is only once the un-lit cyclist has passed you that your brain can even interpret that the dark shape was indeed a cyclist. Turn on the lights or stay off your bike at night.

Blog Staff Five: Full Cycle on the hill has a sticker on their register that sums this issue up well, "Front lights help you see cars, back lights help cars see you." Imagine a roadway where cars weren't required to turn on their headlights and brake lights were optional. Sounds pretty dangerous to me, but often we neglect these rules as bicyclists. It helps everyone when lights shine bright. Without lights, boats hit shorelines, airplanes clip transmitter towers, and bicyclists confuse drivers. It doesn't help the bicycle community to ride without lights, it will only cause more motorists to dispute the two-wheeler.

Blog Staff Six: Once again, completely agree. Riding without lights is not only stupid but also infuriating and dangerous. There have been many a time when I was making a late commute and suddenly realized that there was a bicyclist several feet in front of me, forcing me to make some kind of terrifying evasive maneuver into bushes or even traffic. Not only is it stupid, but it's also getting expensive in Boulder to ride with no lights. A few months ago the penalty was upped to about $50 for each light missing. This is about $20 more than the actual cost of a bike light, so the argument that lights are expensive is getting pretty moot. If you don't have any lights, it's simple...don't endanger yourself and others, just go out and buy yourself some lights. (Or pay the fees, which are actually beginning to be enforced-particularly on campus!)

Tim: "Don't walk in the bike lane."

Tim suggests: "Don't walk in the bike lane."

Blog Staff Two: It's just like the interstate highways. Have you noticed the "no-pedestrian, no-bicyclist" signs that kick off every highway on-ramp? The same should apply to bike/skate-ways. Those corridors/paths should be for "heightened" speeds that help cyclists and skateboarders get where they're going quickly. If they have that space, then we can more reasonably expect them to yield in congested/narrower sidewalks where ped's have the right-of-way.

Blog Staff Three: I'm curious as to how to label the bike lane so that people understand it's a BIKE lane. I would rather assume that pedestrians don't see the bike stick figure painted on the lane more than think they don't understand what the little picture means. Does there need to be a curb, a median, a big sign posted every 10 feet?

Blog Staff Four: Agreed, but I think the campus and the city needs to do a better job of delineating lanes of travel. Putting up curbs between the bike land and the walk lane would do a better job of keeping pedestrians out of the bike lanes. It's so easy to stray across the painted lines without realizing it, but to have to lift your foot up and over a curb to intrude upon the bike lane, calls for a conscious act. I don't want to see those with limited mobility prevented from enjoying pathways due to miles of curbs, but there must be a better solution than the painted lanes.

Blog Staff Five: It isn't hard, but I myself have been walking only to discover my shoes scuffing up the bike lane. Everyone slips up, but those who correct themselves and others make the difference. If walkers see someone in the bike lane, they should inform their fellow pedestrian of their position. And likewise, if bikers see walkers in their lanes they should politely correct the walkers form. I don't think we're at the point of mandating walking classes, but with a little bit of open dialogue the problem may find a simple resolution. As Boulder continues to expand biking lanes, perhaps curb technology may be a possible infrastructure change we pursue.

Blog Staff Six: In my opinion, the bike lanes are pretty clearly marked. The universal stick-figure on bike icon is very recognizable...people just aren't used to seeing it yet. The same concept is used to label gendered restrooms, and yet there doesn't seem to be much confusion there. Instead of devising a new way to mark the lanes, cyclists (who are most affected by this issue) should spend a few seconds each ride to politely notify pedestrians that they are walking in an inappropriate lane. Pedestrians obviously notice the little cycling stick-figures, judging by the graffiti that is often found on their little round blank faces...they just need a little encouragement.

David: "Education, education, education."

David suggests: "The best way to avoid accidents as a whole is to educate."

Blog Contributor One: I couldn't agree with you more. If more pedestrians and bikers alike were educated we could avoid a number of accidents. Unfortunately, in this short of perfect world, we cannot educated everyone. However, educating people about bike lanes and such can make a significant impact in the long run. I find your suggestion very insightful and perhaps it will lead to a new campaign teaching people the basics of crossing a road–or in our case, crossing bike lanes.

Blog Contributor Two: I hear the whole "... just need to educate..." or "... if only people knew..." and so on mantra a little too often. There are lots of laws; there are professional tax law consultants, marriage law consultants, and we might as well have traffic law consultants. I don't think the issue is one of education; I've been cycling as my primary mode of transportation for over a decade in Boulder, and it's not the law that guides my travel decisions. First and foremost, it's my personal safety. After that, it's convenience–what's the fastest way to get to where I'm going. No amount of "education" is going to change that.

Blog Contributor Three: I think establishing designated bike/skate lanes around campus is the key solution to reducing the havoc for campus traffic. Campus is like a microcosm of the city, there's a lot going on and sometimes you have to get around faster or farther than comfortably walking. We need a way to bike or skate around but just as you mentioned the most dangerous areas on campus are the bike lanes along Broadway and near Folsom. No one even pays attention to the fact that there are designated lanes, they walk aimlessly about and its difficult to go through there. It's hard to imagine that such a highly evolved species would constantly be bumping into each other the way we do.

Blog Contributor Four: Education really is an important first step in making this campus a safer place for all pedestrians, cyclists, and skateboarders. Much of our campus population comes from out of state and very often from a non-cycling community. They really don't understand that a bicycle is considered to be a vehicle or that the lines painted on the pathways aren't just for decoration. They come to a campus and a city that pushes a car-free, environmentally friendly lifestyle, but are never taught how to be a responsible cyclist. I think there are several organizations on campus that could come together and provide comprehensive, mandatory education for cyclists and skateboarders.

Blog Contributor Five: Instead of education, perhaps infrastructure changes may be a way to reduce pedestrian/bicycle congestion. Boulder recently proposed Project New Euclid that plans to retrofit Broadway into a manageable space for both bikers and pedestrians. Unfortunately the project remains two years in the future, pressing the need for current solutions. As a primary bicyclist, I offer two pieces of advice, call it education if you will. My first bit calls out fast riders. Boulder County has over 500 miles of open trails, don't use campus as a single track, downhill experience. My second piece of wisdom asks pedestrians to be a bit more mindful. Stop texting, turn down the iPod, and notice the lane beneath your feet; if it has a bike on it, just move three feet to your right and problem solved. No one party needs to acquire full blame, but we all must work on the same page to find practical solutions.

Blog Contributor Six: I think that the concept of commuter education is an excellent idea. How about instead of issuing $100 tickets to cyclists and other campus commuters for blowing a stop sign, they are required to attend a short, hour-long class about which traffic laws apply and do not apply to them. Many campus commuters are students, and came from places where law enforcement was not as prevalent of an issue as at this university, and they do not realize that there are many basic traffic laws that they would never think of ignoring in a motorized vehicle, which they unfortunately disregard due to ignorance when commuting in a more sustainable manner. I agree-educate!

Blog Contributor Biographies

Blog Contributor One: a senior in the School of Journalism here at CU. An enthusiastic cyclist, B.C. One rides for fun and exercise as well as the daily commute.

Blog Contributor Two: a former CU student and a current CU employee. An avid cyclist, B.C. Two uses a bicycle for the daily commute as well as the occasional mountain bike trip.

Blog Contributor Three: a senior in the Ecology & Evolutionary Biology program here at CU. B.C. Three is passionately devoted to commuting via cycling and hopes to teach her two young children to be devoted and responsible cyclists as well.

Blog Contributor Four: has worked for CU for 3 years. B. C. Four prefers to walk or take the bus for purposes of commuting and would rather hike a mountain trail than cycle on one.

Blog Contributor Five: a senior in the Studio Arts program here at CU. B. C. Five loves all things bicycle related from fixing them to riding them around campus or up into the mountains.

Blog Contributor Six: a sophomore in the English program here at CU. B. C. Six can be seen cycling all over Boulder and campus or scaling the heights at Movement Climbing Gym in town.

Michael: "It's simple....dismount!"

Michael suggests: "It's simple....dismount!"

Blog Contributor Two: This feels like something written by a non-cyclist. Here are some examples of other things that are simple: "eat healthy food", "don't talk on the phone while driving", "be nice", "attend classes", "save money"... I think most solutions really aren't that simple. Why don't we cyclists dismount? I suppose it's partly because of the darned physics of it all–we have learned the delicate art of balancing on two wheels while propelling ourselves, and dismounting is so counterproductive to that basic activity. I think, as someone else has posted, it might be better to ask that we "slow down".

Blog Contributor Three: Bicyclers and skateboarders definitely should be chill and pay attention around pedestrians but pedestrians need to take a little more responsibility as well. Sidewalks are for everyone and while bicyclers and skateboarders should slow down, demanding they dismount is going to far. Besides, why do pedestrians get to do "moronic things" while bicyclists and skateboarders have to "think critically"? Everyone is responsible for their behavior, bicyclists, boarders, and walkers.

Blog Contributor Four: I would like to rephrase Michael's comment to read "It's simple...use common sense!". There are plenty of times when it just makes sense to get off your bike and walk it instead of weaving in between pedestrians, skateboarders, and other cyclists during crowded class change. Unless you are an expert at track stands and can literally ride as slowly as a pedestrian, then just get off your bike and walk until the crowd thins out. Or, even better, find a different route through campus that isn't as crowded.

Blog Contributor Five: I'm not going to agree to the simplicity of dismounting. Perhaps drivers should abandon their cars and walk when traffic jams occur, perfect logic, eh? I again cite the need for everyone to approach crowds with caution. No one should cycle into a congested sidewalk without understanding how to dismount quickly and safely, yet the need to dismount must be individually evaluated. In certain cases, it may be helpful if a group of bikers call out their position, request pedestrians move, and pass appropriately ("on the left" in case you don't know). Other times it may be safer if bikers dismount, instead of looking like Royal Canadian Mounted Police. I just don't feel making blanket statements like "it's simple...dismount", recognize ever situation.

Blog Contributor Six: Dismount? Or exercise judgment. Just because there are a few people walking here and there does not mean that a cyclist should be forced to walk their bike...that would be like demanding that when there are a few cyclists present, all pedestrians should cease movement until the cyclists have safely passed. Instead, the cyclists should check their speeds. If a cyclist is moving at a constant rate among the pedestrians, and moving slowly enough (while proving themselves capable of maintaining balance) that they do not endanger anyone, there is absolutely no reason why a cyclist should be forced to dismount...they bike to campus to ride, not walk. If they're causing no harm, then they should be allowed to commute in the fashion that they prefer...just like pedestrians, who usually are paying far less attention than cyclists when traveling around a large amount of other people.

Elsbeth: "Pay attention bicyclers."

Elsbeth suggests: "Pay attention bicyclers."

Blog Staff Two
: This is a good one, but like some of my other responses, I think it's a little too shallow. First, I don't think it's always about just inattentiveness, although that's something I'm victim of too often. Most folks on campus are justifiably occupied with lofty Ivory Tower pursuits, and it's understandable that they'd be distracted. So, what do we think might bring the attentiveness back? How about we start a volunteer program where people randomly sit along sidewalks and paths, shouting "look out!", or "pay attention!"? Probably not, but it's a thought.

Blog Staff Three
: First, people need to realize that when you are crossing a bike path or sidewalk on campus you ARE crossing a busy street and should respect it as such. Everyone should be watching where they are going. People have the right to choose which mode of transportation they commute with and if you choose walking first, good for you, but many of us need a little more speed. By no means does that justify reckless riding, everyone should be paying attention and commuting safely. People seem to be generalizing all bicyclists and boarders as DIRC's, not wearing helmets, flying down hills, not signaling or stopping in traffic, and not using lights but I think that's a very unfair judgment. Those are the small few of the population who are giving the rest of us a bad name.

Blog Staff Four
: Like I said in a previous post, EVERYONE needs to take more responsibility for their actions; cyclists, skateboarders, and pedestrians alike. Granted the cyclist is usually traveling faster and accompanied by a heavy-ish metal object with sharp parts and therefore should take an extra level of responsibility for watching out for others, not traveling too closely to anyone else, and signaling when passing.

Blog Staff Five: I often wonder how a hyper-attentive world may play out, and all considerations seem frightening. I agree that riding a bicycle necessitates a certain amount of awareness, but can we enforce attention spans? Consider the demographic, college students, and it quickly becomes unattainable. Not to say that college isn't the place for cultivating higher awareness, but sometimes a bicycle serves as an opportunity for relaxation and decompression. I wonder where the middle ground lies? A cyclist must realize their vehicle has potential. If one rides campus weaving aimlessly, jumping curbs, and recklessly endangering pedestrians their putting themselves at risk, while giving the bicycle a bad reputation. As well, if one signals, communicates to others, and maintains common courtesy, their actions reflect positively. I'm just not sold on a campus where everyone rides one speed and has their heads on a constant swivel. It seems to stiff and formal for my free spirit; let's search for balance.

Blog Staff Six: I don't think that attentiveness is the root off the problem here...let's face it, who really pays attention when going to class. No amount of encouragement is going to force people to actually pay attention when commuting to class. People have other things occupying their thoughts when commuting, like schedules and deadlines...and often times the commute is the only time to filter these thoughts and process information. I think the actual problem here is the speed at which people are commuting to class. The campus has decided to address this problem using a strategy learned from several German campuses which actually seems pretty effective. They have decided to paint super cool murals on the ground at busy intersections on campus (such as the Ekeley kiosk and the underground Broadway bridge to the Hill), in the hopes that people will slow down to admire the art. Several studies on the German campuses have revealed that people are actually slowing down to check out the art, so hopefully this will work on our campus! (Although it definitely will not help the attentiveness issue.)

Michael: "Pedestrians: pay attention."

Michael suggests: "Pedestrians: pay attention."

Blog Staff Two: What a nice complement to the other suggestion of "pay attention bicyclers" from Elsbeth. I think there is a general, cultural desire that everyone else pay more attention. This ethos probably applies similarly to grocery checkout lines, car-driving, staff meetings, date-nights and poker. I'm guessing it's probably psychological entropy why we don't just all pay lots of attention. Personally, I have a very distinct quota of attention I can spend. So, my question is: what should I spend it on? I'm thinking that when I walk around, I want that to be as unstructured and uncontrolled as possible; it's kind of my resting time, when I don't have to pay so much attention. If I can zone out, then when I arrive where I'm going, I'm generally fresher!

Blog Staff Three: Michael you sound like a model bicycler for campus, you pay attention, abide the rules, and respect the courtesy of the sidewalk. The observations and comments you made about the pedestrians on campus are dead on. As a cyclists who maintains the same ideals I am frustrated with all the propaganda of bicyclers and skateboarders needing to take all the responsibility of traveling in "predictable, orderly" manners without any pressure put on pedestrians to do the same. I agree that bicyclists and skateboarders need to be more mindful as we travel but even if we were to do all things right, the wandering absent-minded pedestrians create havoc that can not be avoided by safe cyclists and boarders.

Blog Staff Four: Pedestrians do need to pay attention and take some personal responsibility for their own safety. If you are going to text and walk, abruptly change direction, or look down when entering an intersection, you are going to get hurt. Maybe it won't even be a bicycle or a vehicle that hits you, but another person. The injury probably won't be as serious, but you could still hurt the other person or cause them to drop and break personal belongings. EVERYONE needs to be more aware and more responsible for their actions, not just drivers, cyclists, and boarders.

Blog Staff Five: Why don't we talk more often. I love to vocalize on my bicycle and inform pedestrians of my whereabouts. I usually employ various dialects to keep people on their toes, my latest being a Canadian hockey player. The system works pretty well, but what happens when communication break down due to the headphone barrier. I am a big fan of the one headphone rule when walking on campus. If you remove a headphone you can still listen to the tunes, but you also hear the world around you. Paying attention doesn't mean being a Zen Master; it just requires an ability to be mindful and present when walking. Don't get me wrong, I love to space out and get lost in architecture, the blue sky, or a sweet bike, but we must be able to hear/see/feel an imminent situation.

Blog Staff Six: I completely agree. Pedestrians should definitely be paying more attention, especially on campus. I have witnessed many an accident (bicycle related) on campus, and nearly all of them were caused by pedestrians strolling into the bike lane, headphones audibly blasting music. Many of these accidents occurred when pedestrians were exiting a bus and groups of sometimes fifteen pedestrians suddenly mobbed into the bike lane with no warning without even checking for an en route cyclist. I understand...I've taken the bus; you're late to class and you run off the bus and sometimes end up in the bike lane for a few seconds before continuing into the pedestrian lane. But the problem is when a large amount of pedestrians come to a stand-still in the wrong lane, and even sometimes continue to class in that lane. I'm not sure why this is such a frequent occurrence, as there are little pictures painted onto the lanes to direct pedestrians into the correct one...maybe if they spent less time drawing smiley-faces on the little walking people and more time actually commuting in the designated lane, a lot less people would be getting into devastating, spandex-clad cycling accidents.

Tell us your story.

Welcome to the Reckless at CU blog page. We've set up this page in order to gather stories and rant from the campus community about skateboarding and bicycling on campus. We at the CU Bicycle Program are addressing the rash of reckless bicycling and skateboarding that has afflicted campus, giving bicyclists and skateboarders a bad name.

In recent times on campus, bicyclists and skateboarders have injured pedestrians, themselves and campus property. Just in the past year, bicyclists and skateboarders have been reported to have broken blind-person's canes, injured seeing-eye guide dogs, injured pedestrians walking on sidewalks, run into cars (including some parked!) and more. Have you been hit? Has the skateboarder or bicyclist even stopped to ask if you were o.k.?

These "DIRC's" are giving bicyclists and skateboarders a bad name. We want to hear from bicyclists and skateboarders too! What are the hot spots? What is your perspective?

Please take a moment to write us your story in the comment section below. We will be reviewing these comments, and reporting back to the blog, adding entries as hot topics arise. If you feel you have a long story to tell, you may also email us at and we'll help out by posting your story.