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Last updated 11:15PM ET
September 21, 2021
KSUT Regional
KSUT Regional
Sharing the road is simple
(2009-06-29)
(ksut) - KINSEE MORLAN: THIS PAST JANUARY, JOGGER CHRIS CARNEY MADE HIS WAY DOWN COUNTY ROAD 234 EARLY ONE MORNING WITH HIS DOG RUNNING AT HIS SIDE.

CHRIS CARNEY: WELL I'D ALWAYS WORE A LOT OF REFLECTIVE GEAR, I HAD A REFLECTIVE VEST AND A LIGHT-COLORED T-SHIRT UNDER THAT, AND MY SWET PANTS WERE SILVERY AND I WORE LONG PANTS BECAUSE IT WAS 20 DEGREEES THAT DAY. AND WHITE GLOVES AND LITTLE REFLECTIVE SPOTS ON MY RUNNING SHOES AND HAD A HEAD LAMP GOING TOWARD THE FRONT. AND MOST RUNNERS NOW THAT IF YOU'RE CONSTANTLY RUNNING ON THE SAME SIDE OF THE ROAD, YOU'RE GOING TO GET HIP AND KNEE PROBLEMS SO I WAS ON THE EAST SIDE OF THE ROAD WHEN I HEADED SOUTH AND I RAN FROM MY HOUSE DOWN TO ELMORE'S CORNER AND ROUND TRIP IS 4.6 MILES. I WAS ON MY WAY BACK AND RUNNING WITH TRAFFIC AT THE TIME. WELL, THERE WAS HARDLY ANY TRAFFIC, I HAD SEEN TWO CARS THAT MORNING. AND I KNEW THE CAR WAS BEHIND ME I COULD SEE THE TAILLIGHTS LIGHTING UP IN FRONT OF ME.

KINSEE MORLAN: HE MADE SENSE OF THINGS ONCE HE WAS ON THE GROUND AND IN SEVERE PAIN. HIS GLASSES FLEW FROM HIS FACE AND HE COULD BARELY SEE THE VEHICLE AS IT SPED OFF DOWN THE ROAD. CHRIS SUFFERED A SEPARATED ANKLE WITH PRETTY SERIOUS TENDON DAMMAGE, A DEEP LACERATION ON HIS ARM AND HE NOW HAS A PLATE WITH FIVE SCREWS THAT WILL BE PART OF HIS SKETAL SYSTEM FOREVER. BUT CHRIS FEELS LUCKY TO BE ALIVE, AND AS A HIT-AND-RUN SURVIVOR, THE SAYS THE HARDEST THING FOR HIM NOW ARE ALL THE QUESTIONS OF "WHY ."

CHRIS: THEY HAVE TO LIVE WITH IT THEMSELVES AND THEY HAVE TO LIVE WITH IT IN THEIR CONSCIENCE. IT'S JUST FRUSTERATING TO NOT KNOW. AND NOT KNOW WHY, WHY DIDN'T YOU STOP? WHAT WERE YOU DOING? WHAT WERE YOU THINKING?

KINSEE MORLAN: CHRIS HAS YET TO GET BACK ON A BIKE OR JOG AGAIN. HE SAYS HE WANTS TO, BUT HE MAY STAY CLEAR OF THE ROADS AND JOG ON BIKE TRAILS FOR SOME TIME. HE STILL MAINTAINS THAT EVEN THOUGH HE WAS JOGGING WITH TRAFFIC INSTEAD OF AGAINST TRAFFIC, WHICH IS RECCOMENDED, HE FEELS LIKE HE DID EVERYTHING HE COULD TO BE SAFE - HE WAS WEARING REFLECTIVE GEAR, HE WAS AS FAR OVER ON THE SHOULDER AS POSSBILE. IRONICALLY, CHRIS'S INCIDENT ISN'T THE FIRST TRAFFIC ACCIDENT TO AFFECT SOMEONE IN HIS FAMILY. OVER 25 YEARS AGO, HARL KENDRICK, NOW CHRIS'S BROTHER-IN-LAW, WAS CYCLING THROUGH THE INTERSECTION AT ELMORE'S CORNER WHEN HE WAS HIT BY A CAR. THE ACCIDENT DEHABILITATED HARL FOR THE REST OF HIS LIFE AND MANY IN THE COMMUNITY CONSIDER THE ACCIDENT THE CROWNING BLOW' THAT STARTED THE SAN JUAN CITIZENS ALLIANCE, A COMMUNITY ACTIVIST AND WATCHDOG GROUP, WHICH EVENTUALLY GOT THE STOPLIGHT PUT IN PLACE AT THE DANGEROUS INTERSECTION.

KINSEE MORLAN: ACCORDING TO THE COLORADO DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION, CHRIS AND HARL ARE PART OF NEARLY 5,000 PEDESTRIANS WHO DIE AND OVER 70,000 WHO ARE INJURED EACH YEAR IN TRAFFIC ACCIDENTS NATIONWIDE. AT LEAST LOCALLY IN THE CITY OF DURANGO, OFFICIALS ARE TRYING TO BRING THOSE NUMBERS DOWN BY MAKING IT SAFER FOR WALKERS, RUNNERS AND CYCLISTS.

AMBER BLAKE: I'M AMBER BLAKE, THE NEW MULTI-MODAL COORDINATOR FOR THE CITY OF DURANGO.

KINSEE MORLAN: BLAKE WAS HIRED BY THE CITY JUST A FEW WEEKS AGO TO COME UP WITH A MULTI-MODAL MASTER PLAN AND ONE COMPLETE MAP SHOWING EVERYTHING FROM BUS AND TROLLEY ROUTES TO BIKE LANES AND TRAIL CONNECTIONS.

KINSEE MORLAN: THE GOAL IS TO HAVE THE COMMUNITY HELP WITH THE PLAN AND MAP AND TO HAVE IT ALL DONE BY MARCH OF 2010. IN THE MEANTIME, AMBER WILL BE A BIG PART OF OPENING DURANGO'S NEW TRANSIT CENTER ON 8TH AVENUE ON AUGUST 14. THE NEW CENTER WILL HAVE BIKE AND CAR PARKING AND OFFER STOPS FOR DURANGO TRANSIT, GREYHOUND, ROAD RUNNER AND EMPLOYEE SHUTTLES TO DURANGO MOUTNAIN. AND WHILE THAT'S ALL HAPPENING, AMBER SAYS SHE SEES A FEW THINGS THAT COULD BE WORKED ON RIGHT AWAY.

AMBER BLAKE: WELL I THINK THERE ARE SOME THINGS THAT I CALL QUICK FIXES THAT WILL HELP IMPROVE THE SYSTEM. AND THAT WOULD BE SIGNAGE, POSTINGS, JUST INFORMATION FOR CYCLISTS AND DRIVERS, AND STRIPING, MAKING SURE TO MAKE THE DELINEATION FOR, HERE'S WHERE THE BIKES GO, HERE'S WHERE THE CAR'S GO, AND IF THERE'S NOT THEN, PLEASE, LET'S ALL BE NICE AND SHARE THE ROAD.

KINSEE MORLAN: SHARING THE ROAD IS WHAT KSUT AND THE COLORADO DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION'S CAMPAIGN IS ALL ABOUT, BUT THIS YEAR, COLORADO MADE A STEP TO MAKE WHAT MOST CONSIDER COMMON-SENSE' CONSIDERATION INTO ON-THE-BOOKS LEGISLATION WITH THE PASSING OF A NEW BICYCLE SAFETY LAW THAT SPENCER COMPTON,PRESIDENT OF THE DURANGO WHEEL CLUB, EXPLAINED FOR US:

SPENCER COMPTON: THIS LAW CLEARLY DEFINES THE RIGHT OF A DRIVER TO PASS THE DOUBLE YELLOW LINE WHEN THERE IS NO ONCOMING TRAFFIC TO PASS A CYCLISTS. THE REASON BEING, THAT NOW THE CYCLISTS HAS TO HAVE THREE FEET OF SAFE PASSING DISTANCE BETWEEN THE CAR, INCLUDING THE MIRRORS OF THE CAR, AND THE CYCLSITS.

KINSEE MORLAN: THE LAW, WHICH TAKES EFFECT AUGUST FIFTH, ALSO SAYS CYLISTS SHOULD RIDE AS FAR RIGHT AS IS SAFE, IT SAYS BICYLISTS CAN PASS EACH OTHER OR RIDE TWO-ABREAST IF THEY AREN'T IMPEDING TRAFFIC. IT ALSO BUMPED UP THE CONSEQUENCES FOR THROWING AN OBJECT AT A CYCLIST OR DRIVING TOWARD A CYCLISTS IN A DANGEROUS MANNER. AGAIN, SPENCER COMPTON.

SPENCER COMPTON: IT CLAFIFIES THE COMMON SENSE THAT EXISTS. YOU HAVE TO GIVE A CYCLISTS SAFE ROOM TO RIDE THEIR BIKE. THEY HAVE A RIGHT TO THE ROAD, THEY PAY FOR THE ROAD AS MUCH AS A DRIVER DOES, AND THEY SHOULD BE ENSURED THE SAFETY TO RIDE IN A REASONABLE WAY.

KINSEE MORLAN: SPENCER MAKES A GOOD POINT WHEN HE SAYS CYCLISTS PAY FOR THE ROAD AS MUCH AS DRIVERS. IN A RECENT KSUT SHARE THE ROAD' SURVEY WE POSTED ON OUR WEBSITE, WHEN ASKED HOW THE COLORADO DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION COULD IMPROVE THE SHARE THE ROAD' SAFETY CAMPAIGN, A FEW OF THE RESPONSES EXPRESSED ANGER THAT CYCLSITS DON'T HAVE TO REGISTER THEIR BIKES OR PAY MONEY TO THE DMV. BUT THE TRUTH IS THAT MOST CYCLISTS HAVE VEHICLES, TOO, AND THEY'RE ACTUALLY DOING THE DMV AND THE ROADS A FAVOR BY PAYING THOSE FEES YET RIDING THEIR BIKES ANYWAY.

OTHER COMMON RESPONSE TO QUESTION OF SAFETY IMPROVEMENT WAS MORE SIGNAGE, MORE BIKE LANES, MORE EDUCATION FOR BOTH CYLISTS AND DRIVERS ON THE PROPER WAY TO DEAL WITH ONE ANOTHER, AND A PERMANENT AND FURTHER-REACHING "SHARE THE ROAD" CAMPAIGN BY RADIO STATIONS, TV STATIONS AND NEWSPAPERS AROUND THE COUNTRY.

40 PERCENT OF THOSE SURVEYED HEARD OUR SHARE THE ROAD' SPOTS OFFERING SAFETY TIPS AND ADVICE ONE TO THREE TIMES DURING OUR TWO-MONTH CAMPAIGN, AND 51 PERCENT FOUND THE SPOTS HELPFUL ON A SCALE FROM NOT USEFUL AT ALL TO EXTREMELY USEFUL. WE THANK YOU FOR PARTICIPATING IN THIS YEAR'S SHARE THE ROAD CAMPAIGN. FOR KSUT PUBLIC RADIO, I'M KINSEE MORLAN.

DJ OUTRO: AND WE'RE STILL TAKING COMMENTS AND SUGGESTIONS ABOUT OUR SHARE THE ROAD CAMPAIGN ON OUR WEBSITE. JUST VISIT KSUT.ORG AND CLICK ON THE ROAD HOG SYMBOL ON THE RIGHT SIDE. © Copyright 2021, ksut