Rumor has it the Fort Collins Bike Co-op will be celebrating our tenth anniversary somewhere in the second week of November at a well-known local brewery. Stay tuned for more info…
Posts Tagged ‘Fort Collins’
June 27th is bike to work day here in Fort Collins. We know what many of you are thinking, “Hey Bike Co-op, isn’t every day bike to work day?” and you’re right, but June 27th is a special bike to work day. There will be tons of businesses with booths setup around town handing out free breakfast to cyclists. Then after work, there are parties at a lot of the breweries in town. You can kind of think of it as your bike commute birthday with wonderful presents. Take a look at this years poster/map to find some stations near you.
EDIT: There is much more information over at Your Group Ride
By Rick Price, Ph.D. (Rick is the Safe Cycling Coordinator for the Bike Co-op; this column was published in the Fort Collins Coloradoan on January 3, 2011; Rick’s Smart Cycling columns appear the 1st and 3rd Mondays of every month in the Coloradoan)
Mia Birk’s book, “Joyride: Pedaling toward a Healthier Planet,” is a how-to manual for creating a first-class bicycle community. Both City Council and city staff would benefit from reading Birk as a way to put Fort Collins even more in the lead in this national movement.
Birk recounts a perfect storm of events when she became bicycle coordinator in Portland in 1993. Congress had just funded the first six-year federal transportation package that included a small allocation for “transportation enhancements.”
“Enhancements” were meant to fund transit, bicycling and walking facilities as Congress
attempted to counter the “roads only” policies of state departments of transportation. This enabled states and cities like Fort Collins and Portland to write bicycle plans and to hire bicycle coordinators.
In Portland in 1990, the Bicycle Transportation Alliance, or BTA, had been founded, and was to become one of the most active advocacy groups in the nation. Earl Blumenauer, now Congressman from Oregon’s 3rd Congressional District and founder of the Congressional Bike Caucus, was Portland’s Commissioner of Public Utilities. With Blumenauer’s support and with the backing of the BTA, Birk set out to make Portland, a city of 500,000 people, a friendlier place to ride a bicycle.
As she explains in “Joyride,”Birk had a series of revelations during the first years of her job that opened her eyes to the challenges she faced. Despite enjoying great support in the bicycle community, she noted that “if I spend my time preachin’ to the gospel choir, the bicycle revolution isn’t going to spread very far.” Additionally, when Portland’s traffic engineers suggested that rather than stripe bicycle lanes, they get the police to enforce the law to encourage more cyclists, she noted “the police won’t even talk to me (as bicycle coordinator),” let alone enforce the rules of the road to protect cyclists.
Another revelation came after her third bike-to-work day,when Birk asked herself, “is this helping to get more people out riding? Is my time best spent running events like his, or working on bikeway projects?” The answer, she found, was that she needed to mobilize the non-bicyclists in town, build bike paths and lanes and to become more of a catalyst in bringing people together to change the culture in order to get reluctant cyclists on their bikes. “It’s not enough to adopt a Bicycle Plan, she wrote, “we’ve got to retrain all the humans involved, both inside and outside government.”
So Birk began with neighborhood meetings at Denny’s. Then she met with the Lions Club. Once she was fully under way, she was meeting with “business groups, ethnic groups, neighborhood associations, school groups, churches” and, as she explains it, “pretty much anyone who” would listen in a series of 60 meetings across Portland.
The results of Birk’s work are impressive to the degree that “Joyride”should be required reading for anyone who wants to see bicycle ridership double in Fort Collins.
Internationally recognized walking and bicycling planner Dan Burden was a guest at the Rio Bike Nights in July and inspired many of us with his great ideas and experience. How ’bout slowing traffic down to make it safer for cyclists; What about back in angled parking so that motorists will see bicyclists coming down the street before they back out and hit them; Or have you thought about bike boxes, bicycle boulevards, or shared lane arrows (otherwise known as “sharrows”)?
Well, our transportation planners have heard the call to arms. Monday evening, August 9th the City’s Bicycle Advisory Committee will hear three proposals that will make cycling (and walking) in Fort Collins safer and more fun. Join us to hear all about these projects:
1) A Bike Box at West Plum and Shields: Correct, the Plum St. that leads from University Village on West Plum onto Campus. The one where the bike lane disappears at Shields and bikes are often clipped by south-turning motorists coming off of Plum.What’s a bike box? Take a look at the photo. Essentially, the bike lane is painted blue or green and the cyclist is invited to come to the front of the line of cars where they are fully visible to continue straight onto campus. Motorists have to wait for the bikes to proceed before they turn south on Shields St.
2) A Sidewalk on Lincoln Ave. to walk to Odell Brewing: Now that’s a no brainer. No longer will you have to walk in the bike lane to get from Buckingham to Odell Brewing.
3) Bike Lanes or shared lanes with “sharrows” on Mountain Ave. from Meldrum to Riverside in Old Town. This one has been a long time in coming but finally the planners are recommending sharrows along this stretch. There is no space for a bike lane and there is angled parking all along here with the relative dangers inherent for cyclists. The ONLY safe way to ride this stretch of Mountain is to take the lane and practice vehicular cycling. The sharrows will make it clear to motorists that we have a right to be there.
So come out for the fun at 6 p.m. Monday evening as the BAC hears about these proposals. Have a comment about the proposals? Come and share your thoughts or ideas or concerns. What about back in angled parking all along Mountain to really make this a safe street for bicycles? Public comment is heard at the beginning of the meeting from about 6 to 6:15 p.m.
The meeting will be held in the Community Room at 215 Mason St. Enter on the north side of the building.
Can’t make it but still want to comment? Send your public comment to Click For Email. We treat that as a part of the public record for the meeting.
For the second year the Fort Collins Bike Co-op is looking for volunteers to work on the Fort Collins Urban Assault Ride! The event takes place on Sunday, July 18. (more…)