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Reader: maintain bicycle infrastructure where the rubber meets the road

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I would have loved to participate in Bike to Work Day last week but I was recovering after eight days in the hospital from a bicycle vs. car crash. I played the role of the bike, pulling out into the traffic lane to avoid a pile of broken glass on a narrow section of West Uintah.

The car was well in back of me when I pulled out but, according to the investigating police officer, the driver was going "about 40 mph" while the speed limit there is 30. She was not ticketed but the officer lectured me as I lay in the ER about how it is unwise to ride a skinny tire bike. I've ridden skinny tire bikes for 50 years all over the world and have never seen road and bike lane maintenance conditions as bad as in our city.

Our mayor and councilors brag about our bike infrastructure to attract business development. But go beyond the brightly colored trail lines on the maps and you see bike lanes full of broken glass and trash and major routes of travel without bike accommodations at all, also littered with debris. For those of us riding these unmaintained routes it is danger on a daily basis.

Bicyclists are killed every year in Colorado Springs. I was very, very lucky. For this issue, separate but equal is the answer. Cars and bikes need to be separate from each other. To do this we need to expand, but just as importantly, maintain bicycle infrastructure where the rubber meets the road, not just on city maps.

— Mike Maday, Colorado Springs

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