Photo credit: Rory Finneren

Colorado DOT Will Pay $500K For Ideas To Protect Cyclists

Do you know how to make roads safer for cyclists and pedestrians? Your big idea could garner significant financial support.

Rory Finneren Cyclist safety
Photo credit: Rory Finneren

From now until Feb. 27, 2017, Colorado’s Department of Transportation will accept new ideas to protect non-motorists along its roadways. The agency offers a $500,000 pot, with prizes ranging from $10,000 up to $225,000 for the best ideas.

Anyone can participate in the competition, which has two tracks. Track one (dubbed the “Idea-thon”) rewards ideas only  — the five best concepts receive $10,000 each.

Track two, the “Do-athon,” rewards $75,000 each to the five best ideas that can be built into proofs of concept. From those five finalists, the best-performing proof in a controlled test will earn an additional $150,000. The second- and third-best performers receive $50,000 and $25,000, respectively.

The RoadX Initiative

The open call is part of Colorado’s RoadX initiative, a program aimed at making the state’s transportation infrastructure safer, smarter, and more efficient.

laser-light-bike-lane

Hence, the measure goes beyond cyclist and pedestrian safety. RoadX also asks public and private innovators to create futuristic “smart” infrastructure for motorists. The plan’s lofty goals include guardrails that communicate with vehicles to prevent accidents, real-time safety and navigation apps, and vehicle-to-vehicle communication technology.

Goal: Zero Road Fatalities

So far this year, 502 people lost their lives in traffic-related accidents on Colorado roads. That’s on pace to meet or exceed last year’s total of 550.

The state’s goal? Zero.

Colorado’s RoadX strategy clearly takes a cue from the X Prize competitions that open-source new technology for the public good.

Because the initiative makes money available for great ideas, it has the potential to advance pedestrian and cyclist safety all across the country. We can’t wait to see what develops!

If you know how to make the roads safer, submit your proposal here.

Adam Ruggiero
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Adam Ruggiero is the editor-in-chief of GearJunkie and a fan of virtually all sports and activities. From biking, running, and (not enough) surfing, to ball sports, camping, and cattle farming — if it's outside, it's worth doing. Adam graduated from the University of Minnesota with a BA in journalism. Likes: unique beer, dogs, stories. Like nots: neckties, escalators, manicured lawns.