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Innovative Bicycle Transportation Solutions Are Coming to Fort Collins

Monday, August 2nd, 2010

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.


Photo courtesy Stephen Rees’s blog

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.

Bike Co-op Report on Listening Sessions Forwarded to City Council

Thursday, July 29th, 2010

Experimental share the road arrows or "sharrows" on Laurel in 2006 were replaced with simple share the road signs.

Experimental share the road arrows or "sharrows" on Laurel in 2006 were replaced with simple share the road signs.

As a result of its community “listening sessions” in April and May, the Co-op submitted the following recommendations to the Bicycle Advisory Committee (BAC) at the May 2010 meeting. We are happy to report that the BAC adopted the recommendations in their entirety and submitted them to City Council!

The Bike Co-op held its final listening session Wednesday, May 5th. This meeting served to summarize citizens’ comments made during eight previous sessions held throughout the City and to prioritize action items for referral to City Planners, Transportation Planners and citizen’s boards and commissions.

There was unanimous consent to offer the following recommendation:

“The community should take steps to improve bicycle safety and efficiency through a comprehensive bicycle safety education program and through enhanced engineering efforts. The education should target motorists, cyclist, K-12 children, and CSU students while the engineering enhancements should include:

The creation of bicycle boulevards ( like Vine, Swallow, Stover, Canyon, Stuart, etc.) for efficient long distance movement of bikes between and among “activity centers,” across town and between existing corridors, including the Mason Trail, the Powerline Trail, the Poudre Trail and the Spring Creek Trail;

Installation of additional signal actuation devices at stop lights, including the use of default modes to facilitate bicycle travel;

The use of sharrows (shared lane arrows) and improved “Share the Road” signs that include the secondary sign “Bikes use full lane.”

The group reviewed the list of 120 items from the previous meetings and prioritized seventeen items (in random order):

More grade separated crossings at intersections and along major trails;
“Share-the-Road” signs should include “Bikes Use Full Lane” secondary sign;
Increase bike/ped accessibility on and across College in “mid-town;”
Add/improve bicycle lanes along North Shields, North College, Gregory, Lemay and others;
Decrease speed limits near campus to 25 mph;
Add “scramble intersections” (also called diagonal crossings and nicknamed the “Barnes Dance”) for Henry Barnes, an innovative traffic engineer at College and Mountain, Laurel and College, and Shields and Elizabeth for bikes and pedestrians;
Add lighting on trails for safety (including use of motion detectors with lights);
Make broader use of sharrows now that they are approved by the MUTCD (Manual on Uniform Traffic Code Devices);
Utilize more PR campaigns such as the “Coexist” campaign;
Target scofflaw cyclists for education;
Improve east-west access to, from and between the Mason and Powerline trails;
Enforce laws consistently;
Create more bicycle boulevards;
Improve signal actuation for bicycles or have signals default to green for cyclists;
Educate motorists about the rights of cyclists and the benefits of bicycling;
Educate K-12 children on bicycle safety;
Educate CSU students on bicycle safety;”