Did you know that bicyclists have a different set of rules to follow at Grand Junction intersections?

If you are driving down the street in a car and you come to a stop sign or red light, you have to stop. That's the law. That's not necessarily the case if you are on a bicycle or a low-speed vehicle.

Bicyclists Get A Break

Colorado Governor Jared Polis signed legislation earlier this year which allows bicyclists to pass through controlled intersections without stopping. The law stipulates that individuals not operating a motor vehicle should slow to a reasonable speed, yield the right of way if necessary, and then proceed through the intersection.

The Grand Junction City Council has offered some clarification and revisions to the law which went into effect July 5.

To Stop Or Not To Stop

For starters, a pedestrian or person operating a low-speed conveyance does not need to stop at a stop sign. They need to slow down to a reasonable speed, yield to oncoming traffic if necessary, and then proceed. If there is a traffic signal, they do need to stop - but they can proceed through if the way is clear after making the stop.

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Definition of Terms

CONTROLLED INTERSECTION:  An intersection controlled by either a stop sign or a traffic control signal.

LOW-SPEED CONVEYANCE: A vehicle that is not a motor vehicle, a low-power scooter, a low-speed electric vehicle, a toy vehicle exclusively human-powered, or an electric personal mobility device.

REASONABLE SPEED: It's defined as 10 MPH or less, though the city may raise the limit to 20 MPH at certain intersections.

My guess is that most bicyclists do the slow-and-go thing already and that's why I wouldn't expect to see an increase in bicycle accidents. It's up to the bicyclist to use caution and judgment in each situation, just as they always have. Some common sense will go a long way toward staying safe.

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