Tour de France finish in Fort Collins? Cycling Rules of the Road in FoCo

Colorado has laws that govern bicycles, but municipalities like Fort Collins can have their own cycling rules of the road. Here, we will review some of those cycling ordinances specific to Fort Collins streets.

Rules of the Road Specific to Fort Collins

Fort Collins was named the “best bike city” in the country by PeopleforBikes. Not only does Fort Collins have the largest ridership per capita of all cities, large and small, but we have the highest safety rating too! Just because we have those accolades does not mean bicycling accidents do not happen. Here are some specific things to know about riding on Fort Collins streets:

Riding Your Bike on FoCo Streets

As noted on the City of Fort Collins FC Bike webpage:

It is legal to ride in most parts of the city; however, there are sections that are posted as “Dismount Zones” or “No Ride” areas and they can be identified by official traffic signs. Of particular note is the first bullet point about not riding on College Avenue:

  • Bicycles are not allowed on College between Laurel St. and Harmony Road
    • In other words, cycling on College Avenue is legal north of Laurel Street and south of Harmony Road. So where do you ride? You could use Remington Street or Mason Street on either side of College Avenue as convenient alternative routes, or you could use the sidewalk since it is legal to do so in Fort Collins (since 2012) except where posted signs prohibit it. But, please note that riding on the sidewalk can be very dangerous, especially when entering intersections where turning cars do not expect to see you. Also, cyclists are required to give an audible signal to pedestrians when attempting to pass.
  • Bicycles are not allowed to ride in the Downtown Dismount Zone.
  • Bicycles are not allowed to ride in the Colorado State University Plaza Dismount Zone.
  • Rules and Regulations that govern bicyclists vary from the City of Fort Collins and Colorado State University (and CSU Police are not shy about giving tickets!).

Bike Signage Meaning

The City of Fort Collins has installed “sharrows” (arrows with a bike painted on the road) and/or “Share the Road” road signs to indicate that motorists and bikes should share that area (usually because the road is too narrow to have a bike lane).

Fort Collins has also installed bike boxes, where the bike lane is painted green and the cyclist is invited to come to the front of the line of cars where they are fully visible to continue straight. Motorists have to wait for the bikes to proceed before they proceed.

Ok, so you can’t break the law and go over the speed limit or take both hands off of your handlebars like they do in the Tour de France. And no, we don’t have an Arc de Triomphe or a Champs-Élysées, but we have a really cool Old Town! And even though we have restrictions, it is for everyone’s safety. The City of Fort Collins embraces bicyclists. Just remember to follow the rules of the road in FoCo and you will be safer and happier.

Mac Hester Law: We know cycling and we know Fort Collins

If you have been injured in a cycling accident or any other type of accident, contact the personal injury attorneys at Mac Hester Law for a free consultation. Mac is not only an experienced cyclist, but he is also an attorney who knows Colorado’s bicycling laws–plus, he has over 30 years of experience in representing all types of accident victims, including cyclists. Mac and his team are based in Fort Collins, and he has successfully litigated bicycle accident claims in the past. Contact us today so we can review your case.


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