The Bike Co-op held its final listening session on 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:
1. 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;
2. Installation of additional signal actuation devices at stop lights, including the use of default modes to facilitate bicycle travel;
3. The use of sharrows (shared lane arrows) and improved “Share the Road” signs that include the secondary sign “Bikes use full lane.”
Although the group reviewed approx. 120 recommendations gathered from the Listening Sessions, 17 additional items emerged as priorities for the City, including:
- More grade separated crossings at intersections and along major trails;
- 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)
- 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
- Consistent law enforcement
- Create more bicycle boulevards
While many of these ideas are familiar and easy to imagine, a few suggestions will likely raise eyebrows as they are quite innovative.
The idea of “scramble” crossings, for example will “require some thought,” said Rick Price, Chairman of the BAC and a proponent of such crossings. “Scramble” crossings are also known as diagonal crossings. They require all motor vehicle traffic to stop while pedestrians and cyclists may cross anywhere in the four-way intersection. “Just stand and watch the bicycles and pedestrians negotiating for crossing space at Laurel or Elizabeth some day,” said Price, “and you’ll see how useful diagonal crossings might be there.”
Citizens wishing to comment on the above or those who wish to express further concerns should send them via e-mail to the Bicycle Advisory Committee: BAC@FCGov.com
Bicycle maintenance is on the cusp between Education and Encouragement. Any plan update should at least mention that people should maintain the bikes they ride. This doesn’t mean that the city should teach classes on bike maintenance. It does mean that riders need resources to find the maintenance information, links, tutorials, tips they need for bikes with proper brakes and lights, etc. Lack of this consideration is a major defect in the 2008 Bicycle Transportation Program Plan update.
I would also suggest having street signs where the Mason trail intersects major roads (Prospect, Drake, Horsetooth, Harmony, etc.), because I’ve more than once overshot my target street. Unless you know from experience, you usually have to bike out of the way a bit to find out what cross street you’ve come to.
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