Johnnie St. Vrain: Speed Limit Conundrums and Helmet Concerns
We’ve got a two-fer today, dear readers and Johnnie fans.
Dear Johnnie St. Vrain: I have seen quite a few people riding bikes with little trailers pulled behind. The rider wears a helmet, but the child speeding along inches from passing cars does not. This seems very dangerous. If the biker is vulnerable, why isn’t the child? Even being knocked over, not run over, could be lethal.
Dear Wendy: According to Carrie Haverfield, spokeswoman for the Boulder County Sheriff’s Office, Colorado doesn’t have a bicycle helmet law, though individual municipalities might. This carries over to little ones being transported by way of a trailer towed by bike.
The professionals, however, have an opinion.
“We highly encourage anyone riding a bicycle, or in a bicycle trailer, to wear a helmet,” Haverfield said.
Three-quarters of all bicycle versus automobile fatalities are the result of head injuries, according to a safe bicycling manual from the Colorado Department of Transportation. Wearing a helmet can reduce the severity of a brain injury by up to 88 percent.
According to the same report, bicycle trailers tend to be a better option for towing children than a child seat. They tend to stay upright if the bike falls over and usually come in bright colors so they are easily visible and signal motorists to provide some space.
In short, we encourage everyone using bikes in some way, shape or form to get around to strapping on a helmet, even if it’s not a legal requirement.
Dear Johnnie St. Vrain: My husband and I are wondering about the speed limit on Nelson Road between 75th and 65th streets. The road does a brief S-turn around a private lake. If you are heading east the speed limit is 35 mph, but if you are heading west it is 50 mph.
Quite a big difference, wouldn’t you say?
Signed, Confused Couple
Dear Confused: I checked with Joshua Trickey, who is a traffic operations engineer at the Boulder County Transportation Department.
According to Trickey, the speed limit between North 65th and North 75th streets is 50 mph for both directions when going around Clover Basin Reservoir.
Last year, in July, the speed limit on portions of Nelson Road was lowered to 35 mph following a traffic study, Trickey said. Those areas include between North 63rd and North 65th streets as well as a section just west of North 75th Street.
The study found that safety in those areas could be improved with a lower speed limit, but other areas could maintain the same speed.