Banning Cyclists Completely on 16th Street

The downtown Denver partnership is looking to ban bicycles completely from the 16th street mall after a tragic collision occurred between a mall shuttle and an elderly rider a couple Sundays ago.

From an article in the Denver Daily, the DDP spokeswoman says

“We still feel that bicyclists on the mall, when you combine the pedestrians and all the RTD shuttles, that that’s not a good equation,” she said. “And I think Sunday’s accident illustrates that even though Sunday is a very low traffic day…we need to look at Sundays and our bike policy on the 16th Street Mall.”

Let’s keep in mind the following that comes from the cited Denver Post article above:

The driver has been ticketed for careless driving resulting in serious bodily injury, said John White, a Denver Police Department spokesman.

Some further details from an article on 9News’ website:

RTD Spokesman Scott Reed says the bus driver honked at the cyclist, but instead the noise startled him. Reed says a witness told RTD the cyclist then slammed on his brakes and flew over his handlebars and the bus driver ran over his right leg.

This is clearly the shuttle driver’s fault. The shuttle driver not only could have avoided the accident by hitting his brakes first, before honking his horn. Also, the shuttle driver was even cited by the police for careless driving.

How does this make sense? Instead of taking time to properly train the shuttle drivers, making sure that they drive safely and not carelessly, they’re just going to get rid of cyclists? What if the cyclist was a pedestrian instead? Would the DDP turn around and ban pedestrians as well?

This is a perfect example of the “sacred bull in society’s china shop.”

Instead of focusing on the real problem, the shuttle buses that are potentially deadly machinery, we focus on restricting the road users who are most vulnerable. This is very often the case with road safety campaigns. Ridiculous.