Alejandro Acosta Obando was killed by a motorist while bicycling on Lee Hill Drive at Wagon Wheel Gap Road in Boulder County on July 15, 2021. The initial report from the Colorado State Patrol faults the driver for turning left in front of or into Mr. Acosta. Mr. Acosta leaves behind a pregnant widow.
The boards and staffs of both Community Cycles and C4C lament the death of Mr. Acosta and wish his family and friends strength.
Regrettably, evidence shows that we can continue to expect killed and seriously injured bicyclists along with general traffic fatalities on our roads. The United States accepts violence on its roads at a rate substantially higher than peer nations. It’s a choice we make and a choice that we can change.
Good policy and engineering take into account that road users make mistakes. One of the most compelling voices Community Cycles and C4C hear is the one from drivers who do not want the burden of driving in the vicinity of vulnerable users in poorly designed engineering and policy environments. Living in a system in which one mistake can result in a fatality is the product of sub-standard policy and engineering and it produces predictably adverse outcomes.
The way to reverse this is to act on allocating more resources to safe systems, good policy, and evidence based engineering standards. Doing so brings more, better, and faster outcomes to Vision Zero compliance and safety on our shared rights of way.
Consider the problem an opportunity. Good bicycling policy and engineering is good policy and engineering. It’s safe and invites people to the benefits of bicycling. It can rid us of problems like induced demand. It creates better emissions outcomes for climate and health. It helps land-use and live-ability outcomes. It is answerable to accountability standards and principles like those governing the Boulder County Transportation Master Plan. It can point our communities towards resilience and beauty instead of auto-industrial convenience, haste, negligence, and contempt.
Even as we write this, 2 more people have died on our streets. They were in a car, and we don’t know the cause, but it’s still people dying on the streets. We can do better.
Visit https://communitycycles.org/ to learn more about Community Cycles’ work advocating for safe places to walk and bike, teaching bike safety and maintenance, recycling used bikes to provide low cost and no cost transportation and a wide variety of programming to get more people safely on bicycles.
Visit https://www.c4community.org/ to learn more about C4C’s efforts to educate drivers and bicyclists, to create safer bike routes where problems are the greatest, and more.