Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Fort Collins' Mayor Hutchinson Defends Bike Library

In a copyrighted story in the Loveland Reporter-Herald Dec. 30, 2008 Anthony Bowe wrote about Tom Coburn, Republican Sentator from Oklahoma who listed the Fort Collins Bike Library as one of the most wasteful federal projects in 2008. Mayor Hutchinson is quoted as saying:

“I was surprised that he would pick out something like that, . . . . I don’t think it’s a waste. It’s in the DNA in a lot of people in Fort Collins. This is a very modest amount of money, and it really adds to the quality of the bicycle environment in Fort Collins.”

You tell 'em, Mayor.

Indeed, the City spent nothing on the Bike Library, the Downtown Development Authority provided $15,000 in matching funds and free rent on the Bike Library Kiosk in Old Town Square and local businesses provided $17,000 of in-kind donations to operate it. The feds, through the Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality (CMAQ) program povided $132,000 over two years.

Estimates vary but with 70% of Library users from out of town, authorities believe that the program has brought the community several hundred thousand dollars of publicity and tourism dollars in its first year of operation.

The Library is operated primarily by volunteers through the Fort Collins Bike Co-op and Bike Fort Collins and though winter hours have been cut back significantly, the library will expand operations in the spring of 2009 with a fleet of about 220 bicycles.

Visit the Bike Library web site by clicking here.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

US News and World Report Says: Bike to Work! Best Way to Improve Health in 2009!

That's right, THE US News and World Report has ID'd Bicycling to Work as one of the top ways to improve your LIFE in 2009, not just your health. We tend to agree. Read the article here.

Oriello posted the following comment on their web site:

Get organized and bike to work
Biycle commuting is really just about adopting good habits over bad habits. Biking to work will require you to be more organized, to plan ahead, to be prepared (remember the scouts?) and to put your coat on (remember your mother's words?) Once you get in the habit of leaving a little early you'll find biking to work is a lot easier. Have a look at our blog in Fort Collins, CO (free bikes at our bike library!)

Monday, December 29, 2008

Meals on Two Wheels in Austin

This one seems like a no-brainer. Delivering traditional meals on wheels by bicycle! Why is Austin doing this and we're not?

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Colorado State University Could Learn from Harvard for Bicycle Parking

The shelter at right is built just for bicycle parking. CSU could benefit from some of these with video surveillance to cut down on bicycle theft.

Read the full story.

Somber accidents bring bicycle safety into spotlight

December 26, 2008
Copyright The Coloradoan


In the decade before 2008, three people died in car bike crashes in Fort Collins. This year, tragedy struck twice when cyclists were killed in accidents that brought public outrage.

Rebecca Allen, 32, died July 22 after being struck from behind by a drunken driver while riding her bicycle in the bike lane on Drake Road.

About four months later, on Nov. 25, 9-year-old Erica Forney was riding her bicycle home from school when a woman police say was distracted by her cell phone drove her SUV into the bike lane and struck Forney. She died two days later.

The deaths of Allen and Forney occurred in a year when the Fort Collins biking community received a "gold" designation from the League of American Cyclists and its Bicycle Friendly Community program, had record turnouts on bike to work day and opened a free bike library.

"They were both tragic accidents and reminders that we've got lots to do still as a cycling community," Fort Collins Bikes Coordinator DK Kemp said.

Daniel Price, 21, the driver of the vehicle that killed Allen, pleaded guilty to vehicular homicide on Nov. 15 and is likely to be sentenced to eight years in prison.

According to court records, Price, who was 20 at the time of the crash, had blood-alcohol levels of 0.091, 0.078 and 0.067 in the hours after the crash. Records also indicate Price tested positive for THC, the active compound in marijuana, in his blood when the fatal collision occurred. Price will be sentenced Jan. 16.

Michelle Smith, 36, also of Fort Collins, has been charged with careless driving resulting in death in connection with the crash that killed Forney and faces a maximum penalty of a one year prison sentence and/or a $1,000 fine if convicted. She is scheduled to appear in court Jan. 7.

At Allen's funeral service on The Oval on the CSU campus, more than 300 people showed up to remember the undergraduate administrator at the Colorado State University Department of Journalism and Technical Communicationn. Many wore flip-flop sandals, which Allen wore on her wedding day.

The CSU journalism department also renamed a scholarship in memory of Allen and a public relations class dedicated a semester-long project working with Bike Fort Collins to bridge the gap between cyclists and drivers to Allen's memory.

"She impacted me so greatly that I was moved to do something for her," Sarah Pooler, a CSU adjunct journalism professor, said in September. "This project is an opportunity to come up with a campaign to honor Rebecca, who was a very adamant supporter of biking safety."

The Forney family received similar support from the community in south Fort Collins. Two days after Erica died, hundreds of family, friends and neighbors gathered at Coyote Ridge Elementary School despite frigid temperatures to lend their support during a candle-light vigil.

"We wanted to show Daren and Shelley how many people are here to support them," Ginger Hillyard, a close family friend, said the night of the vigil. "We're here to support them for the long haul."

State lawmakers have begun looking into the possibility of proposing legislation for more stringent laws prohibiting cell-phone use while driving.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Fort Collins Bicycle Photos for 2008

Yann Ropars has posted his "best of 2008" mountain biking photos of the 4:50 a.m. club (including some Wyoming and Utah shots) on his Flickr site.

Rick Price has posted shots of the Dec. 7th Pennock Pass and Buckhorn Canyon "winter Ralleye."

For details on the Winter Ralleye click here.

And Rick has also posted a few pics of Winter Bike to Work Day, Dec. 17, 2008.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Streetfilms Documents why Boulder is Platinum

Take a look at where Fort Collins has to go in order to achieve the platinum level bicycle friendly community award.

Clarence Eckerson has done a great job of documenting Boulder's great bike system and bike culture for Streetfilms. Watch the whole thing and learn!

Share this with ALL your friends in Fort Collins.

STOP! Can You Identify Where this Sign WAS?

Once upon a time in our fair city there was a stop sign like this. Alas, it is no longer. Do you know where it was and what happened to it?

Or the on-street "sharrow?" Where was it and what happened to it?

What the League Friendly City Program Says about Bicycling in Fort Collins

In their review of our bicycle program in Fort Collins the League of American Bicyclists (LAB) offers a long list of areas that we could improve. Most of these include efforts to increase education for both motorists and cyclists, implementation of all the projects in the current bike plan, increasing bike friendly arterials with shared lane arrows (sharrows) and "share the road" signs, and training for City staff to better understand the behavior of cyclists and their right to be on the road. To read the full report from the LAB click here.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Are We On Our Way to A National Bicycle Policy?

Will the Obama administration bring us a National Bicycle Policy?

If you follow the news and read the blogs there are hints that we may be working our way that direction – a big change from the policies of the Bush administration. It was his Secretary of Transportation, Mary Peters, after all who said that we were wasting federal tax dollars by building bike paths and trails which are “not really transportation.”

If you are interested in following these developments, here are just a few of the people and policies you might want to watch:

1) Oregon Congressman Earl Blumenauer’s “bicycle commuter act” allows employers to provide $20 per month annually to incentivize bicycle commuters. Use it to pay for secure bike parking, buy a bike, or buy the equipment necessary for safe cycling. This bill passed as a rider in the famous Wall Street “bailout.” Sort of a default “gift” from the Bush administration.

2) Congressman Ray LaHood, an Illinois Republican, is leaving the House to become Secretary of Transportation. Lahood is a moderate Republican who has been a friend of bicycling according to Ed Barsotti, head of the League of Illinois Bicyclists. Read Barsotti’s thoughts on LaHood here. Among others, LaHood favors Rails to Trails and has spoken in favor of the Transportation Enhancements program that gives us most of the nation’s bike paths and bike lanes.

3) The National Park Service will allow park superintendents to open new trails in our national parks to mountain biking according to a ruling published in the Federal Register. Maybe one good thing to come out of the Bush administration? Read more about this at Spokes ‘n’ Folks.

4) The Adventure Cycling Association (ACA) reports that a US Bike Route System is in the works. The biggest news here is that it involves both ACA and AASHTO, the (American Association of State High Transportation Officials). This latter group
“foster[s] the development, operation, and maintenance of an integrated national transportation system. So having these highway geeks thinking about a national bike route is a big deal. Learn more at the Adventure Cycling Association.

5) Last, but not least, UPS has begun bicycle deliveries during peak times in some areas. The NYTimes reports that story in a copyrighted story Dec. 19, 2008. Raise your hand if you’d like to be a UPS bicycle delivery person when you grow up!

Follow all these stories and more in John Hopkins’ blog, Spokes ‘n’ Folks from the Green Mobility Network.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Use of Cell Phones and Cycling Safety

Bike Fort Collins has begun a campaign to educate citizens and decision makers about the dangers of using a cell phone while driving a 5,000 lb. vehicle on City streets. Have a look at their web page on the issue.

The goal is to make motorists aware of the danger they present to cyclists when distracted by their cell phone. In a "real" bike town, motorists would be aware of this. We're working on it in Fort Collins. Should city council ban the use of cell phones while operating a motor vehicle? Answer our poll to the left.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Powerline Trail Across Harmony - How About a Bridge?

This is from a comment posted by Mike H. in June. Some of us think it is a great idea. The map to the right shows the Powerline Trail with a red dash where it would cross over Harmony Rd.

Mike wrote:

"This is my uber-dream for Ft. Collins bike visibility -- literally, I had this daydream while out for a ride on day:

When we extend the Powerline Trail across Harmony, how about a multi-use (non-motorized user) bridge across Harmony? In my vision, the bridge is adorned with tasteful, representative art, and "Welcome to Fort Collins" signage, similar to other well-known signs in towns such as Golden. This way, we have a very visible and beautiful image to present to the world, with bicyclists and pedestrians silhouetted at sunset with the iconic foothills in the background. This would be a picture that would stick out in the minds of would-be tourists and our Platinum City award application.

I know that Old Town is the true heart of Ft. Collins, but Harmony is the realistic gateway and thoroughfare for citizens and visitors alike. We would drape seasonal event signs on the bridge, similar to Loveland. This would provide safe passage for the newer developments in SE Ft. Collins, and naturally link/draw cizens down harmony towards the Mason Corridor.

That's my vision: I know it's expensive and perhaps lofty, but I wanted to share this vision. Cheers!"

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Creating a Bicycle Culture

By Anthony Ben'jammin' DeNardo III

[This Soapbox was published in the Fort Collins Coloradoan Monday, December 15, 2008; Anthony sits on the Board of the Fort Collins Bike Co-op]

We've built a gold level bicycle friendly community according to the League of American Bicyclists. But motorists killed two bicycle riders - in bike lanes - on city streets just four months apart. Why?

Perhaps we’ve failed to create the culture that goes with our bicycle infrastructure? Italians have a reputation as being bad drivers yet Italy is considered to have a great bicycle culture. Almost everyone rides a bike: small children go to school on their mother’s bike and the elderly ride all the time. In Italy, motorists see bicycles everywhere and they respect them since the cyclist on the road could be their grandmother.

We promote a world-class bicycle infrastructure in Fort Collins and, while the bike plan speaks to education and enforcement issues, they are not addressed very aggressively. In short, we’ve no plan to build a bicycle culture. It’s time we begin to move from a “car culture” to a “car, bicycle and pedestrian culture.” Here’s one idea on how to start.

Police Services moved to Timberline Road last year at the same time that City Council approved a two-year lease for the Fort Collins Bike Co-op at the Poudre Valley Creamery. Until last winter Police Services collected, tracked, impounded, and handled all abandoned and stolen bikes in the community. Those tasks are now all handled by volunteers at the Bike Co-op.

Today the City is saving the cost of one full-time equivalent staff person ($38,000 average) plus benefits ($15,000?) NOT counting police cruiser and officers’ time to retrieve bikes. So the Bike Co-op is saving taxpayers around $60,000 annually. Why not use some of that savings to help create a bike culture?

The Co-op could work with the City Bicycle Coordinator to develop and take bicycle safety seminars to public schools. The City’s Bike Library fleet could be used for field trips on the Poudre Trail. Parents and educators should be made a part of the process since most are motorists and can benefit from this cultural education as well.

Fifteen to twenty thousand new people move to Fort Collins every year. Most are CSU students and many have never lived in a “bike town” before. CSU needs a bike “coordinator” who, in cooperation with the City’s bike coordinator, can teach those newcomers what life in “bike town” is like: be predictable, use lights at night, stop at stop signs and lights, go the right way in the bike lane, and more.

City and CSU Police need to become engaged in helping to create this culture. They don’t have time or staff, they might argue. But some of the friendliest bike towns in the US have police forces that undertake “sting” operations to enforce cyclists’ stopping at stop signs and using lights at night for several days a year, namely at the beginning of the academic year. Maybe City Council could help them find the time.

And maybe now is the time to quit talking about what a great bicycle town this is and to start creating the appropriate culture.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Colorado State University Commuter Survey Released

According to CSU's press release:

Students prefer biking as their first choice with 36 percent pedaling to campus, while 34 percent commute by single-occupancy vehicle.

The 36% figure, however, refers to single-occupancy vehicles. In reality 38% of students drive to campus while 36% ride a bike. 65% of faculty drive and 25% pedal and among university staff, 73% drive and only 15% bike.

Click here for the full report: CSU commuter survey results released

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Early Morning Adrenalin for Fort Collins MT Bikers

Are you ready for this? 4:50 a.m. MTBike rides up Horsetooth Mtn Park? To Bobcat Ridge? The 4:50 club is a group of mountain bikers who meet most every day at Horsetooth Mountain Park, Bobcat ridge.... at 4:50am during the week and at 7am on weekend... fun it is.... it has to be to do this so early.

And if it's mountain bike photography you like, check out Yann Roper's pics on this site!

Monday, December 1, 2008

Racing Teams Highlighted in Fort Collins Web Site

Check out "The Group Ride - Your Guide to Getting Dropped in Fort Collins" for a survey of the bicycle racing scene in Fort Collins. Do you know that we will again host the National Collegiate Road Championships in May 2009? Do you know that we have at least seven local amateur or semi-pro bicycle racing teams in the Fort?

And there's a lot more. Check 'em out today!

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Keep Your Bike Secure

are reported stolen in New York City every year. Experts believe that this figure represents only 20% of the actual total, only those that were reported. The real number is more like 75,000 bike thefts per year. Police recover less than 2% of them. If you've never had a bike stolen, you might not anticipate how really bad it can make you feel. Here at Bicycle Habitat we thought it would be a good idea to give our customers some tips on how to avoid theft.

Valuable advice from New York City pros on how to keep your bike from being stolen.

Velo News Publishes Bob Mionske's Review of National "Bike" Legislators

Legally Speaking with Bob Mionske - A time for thanks
By Bob Mionske
Posted Nov. 27, 2008
As Americans pause to give thanks at the beginning of this holiday season, it’s a good time for us to look past some of the outrages we’ve experienced this past year and reflect on what we cyclists have to be thankful for. . .

Read the full article

Local Fort Collins City Council members are big supporters of cycling as well. Ben Manvel is up for re-election in April 2009:
Ben Manvel for City Council

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Fort Collins City Council Passes Bike Plan Revision, Creates Bicycle Advisory Committee

On October 7, 2008 Fort Collins City Council unanimously passed the bike plan revision and instructed the City Manager, Darin Atteberry, to create a Bicycle Advisory Committee (BAC) before the end of 2008.

Yesterday, Nov, 7th City Bicycle Coordinator, "DK" Dave Kemp sent out a press release announcing the creation of the BAC. Kemp also convened two public meetings November 18 and 24 to offer the public "more information" on the BAC. For details:

The actual purpose of the BAC is explained in a document release by the City Bicycle Coordinator: "Fort Collins Bicycle Advisory Committee Development Proposal" here:

The good news here is that this board (a sub-committee to the Transportation Board, which considers all City transportation issues) will include representatives from 12 other city boards, commissions, and public entities, including:

- Air Quality Board
- Youth Advisory Board
- Parks & Recreation Board
- Natural Resources Advisory Board
- Senior Advisory Board
- Economic Advisory Commission (AND, curiously, the Convention and Visitors Bureau and the Chamber of Commerce)
- Downtown Development Authority
- Bike Fort Collins
- Bicycle Cooperative of Fort Collins, Inc. (yah, that's the Bike Co-op)
- Poudre School District
- Colorado State University
- UniverCity Connections

In addition there will be two "at-large" members "representing different geographic areas of Fort Collins. (If you live in a "different" geographic area of Fort Collins, please raise your hand.)

The Mission and Purpose of the BAC:
"The Fort Collins Bicycle Advisory Committee (BAC) would be a citizen advisory committee which reports to the Transportation Board. BAC members would have interest in or knowledge of bicycle related issues. The Committee's role will be to review all issues related to bicycling in the areas of engineering, enforcement, encouragement, environment, community and economy. The types of activities include, but are not limited to the following:

- provide group liaison between the City and the community and community groups on issues related to bicycling.
- Fostering the interchange of ideas from existing City Boards and Commissions, as well as other community stakeholders, such as Poudre School District, Colorado State University and the Downtown Development Authority and others as appropriate.
- Promote bicycling as a viable form of transportation.
- Act as a sounding board for citizens who have bicycle-related questions and concerns.
- Assist in the development and dissemination of bicycle safety awareness and education and encouragement materials to the community.
- Develop implementation strategies for recommendations in the 2008 Bike Plan.
- Assist with the development of evaluation metrics for determining success of bicycle programs and facilities.
- Review proposed capital improvement projects, street improvements, traffic signal projects, and parking facilities projects.
- Initiate requests to City staff and other appropriate agencies on issues of concern to the Committee related to bicycling.

The new, revised 2008 Bike Plan (which you can view here:
lists a host of projects that the new BAC can address. Among them, recommendations from UniverCity Connections that include turning Canyon Avenue into a "bicycle boulevard," completing east-west cross streets for cyclists in Downtown Fort Collins, and much more.

One of the first things that should be done is remove the signs shown in the photo at the head of this post.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Bicycle Advisory Committees at Platinum and Gold Level Bicycle Friendly Communities

Platinum Level Communities

1) City of Davis, California - Bicycle Advisory Commission
• Develops options to achieve the goals of the city's Comprehensive Bicycle Plan, and recommends changes to the plan, as necessary, to achieve its purposes.
• Makes recommendations on any matter of bicycle safety

2) City of Portland, Oregon - Bicycle Advisory Committee

The thirteen-member volunteer Bicycle Advisory Committee (BAC) meets monthly to review projects of interest to cyclists and discuss bike issues. The committee advises City Council and bureaus on all bicycle-related matters.

3) City of Boulder, Colorado – NO bicycle advisory board ; Transportation Advisory Board (TAB)

Boulder held a Bike Summit Sept. 7, 2007
At the City Council retreat in January 2007, Council identified conducting a Bike Summit as an initiative, with a goal of achieving Platinum status from the League of American Bicyclists. The summit was held at the Boulder Outlook Hotel on Sept. 7, 2007.

Gold Level Communities

4) Corvallis, Oregon - Bicycle & Pedestrian Advisory Commission ( BPAC )

Advises Council on bicyclist and pedestrian issues; analyzes operation, routing, and safety concerns; recommends projects for bike facilities (paths, lanes, and racks); designs education and public outreach opportunities; and develops bike and pedestrian systems within the community. The Commission is comprised of 6 members who represent bicycle and pedestrian issues, one representative from the Associated Students of OSU, and one City Council representative.

5) Fort Collins, Colorado – NO bicycle advisory board; Transportation Board

The Transportation Board advises the Fort Collins City Council on transportation issues. The Board examines issues relating to financing; the development and implementation of master plans pertaining to pedestrian, streets, transit, bicycles, automobiles, congestion, traffic signalization, and transportation facilities; the use of technology; and education of the public and private industry on transportation topics. The Board acts as a forum for the citizens to express their needs and concerns. The Board coordinates with other city boards and commissions on projects and issues that are of mutual interest. The Transportation Board works with other municipalities in the region to identify and develop solutions to key transportation issues.

6) Jackson, WY – NO apparent bicycle advisory committee


Platinum Committee Draft Report, November 29, 2007
In the fall of 2006 Madison Mayor Dave Cieslewicz formed the Platinum Biking City Planning Committee with the overall goals of
1) achieving the Platinum designation level through the League of American Bicyclists Bicycle Friendly Communities program, and
2) putting forward a roadmap - or bike path - for Madison to become the best city in the country for bicycling.
Platinum Biking Committee Final Report
Adopted by the City Council April 8, 2008 (PDF 1.3 MB)

For more information on the Platinum Biking City Planning Committee, see the links below, or contact Arthur Ross, Pedestrian-Bicycle Coordinator at
Platinum Biking City Planning Committee:

8) Palo Alto, California - Bicycle Advisory Committee

The Palo Alto Bicycle Advisory Committee is a citizen advisory committee which reports to the Chief Transportation Official. Members have interest in or knowledge of bicycling issues. The Committee's role is to review all issues related to bicycling in the areas of engineering, enforcement, education and encouragement. The types of activities include, but are not limited to the following:
• Review and comment on the design of Capital Improvement Program projects, street improvements, traffic signal projects, and parking facilities projects.
• Review and comment on changes and updates to the Palo Alto Comprehensive Plan, Zoning Ordinance, Municipal Code and other policy documents which relate to bicycling.
• Review and prioritize the City's annual Transportation Development Act (TDA) Article 3 list of pedestrian and bicycle projects and report the Committee's recommendations to the City Council.
• Provide liaison between the City and the community and community groups on issues related to bicycling.
• Promote bicycling as a viable form of transportation.
• Assist in the development and dissemination of bicycle safety awareness and education materials to the community.
• Review and comment on private development plans, which include bicycle facilities or have impact on bicycle safety and access.
• Initiate requests to City staff on issues of concern to the Committee related to bicycling.

9) San Francisco, California – Bicycle Advisory Committee

The Bicycle Advisory Committee meets to consider bicycle transportation projects and policies and to make recommendations to the Board of Supervisors, the Department of Parking and Traffic, and other City and County of San Francisco agencies. Our projects include oversight and facilitation of the five-year Bicycle Plan Update, improved transit access for bicycles, and funding for bicycle improvements to increase road safety.

10) Seattle, Washington – Seattle Bicycle Advisory Board

The Seattle Bicycle Advisory Board was created through Resolution 25534 on May 11th, 1977 to advise the city on the concerns and needs of the growing bicycling community. It is composed of 11 Seattle residents that serve for a 2-year term and in 2001 added an additional position for the YMCA Get Engaged Program that serves for a 1-year term.
Mission Statement: Seattle Bicycle Advisory Board advises the City of Seattle on all matters related to bicycling.
Vision: Make Seattle a world-class City for Bicycling. Make bicycling a viable transportation choice by encouraging active participation in policy and planning efforts through all levels of government. Build a more inclusive bicycling community by representing the needs of the diverse population of bicyclists in the City.
To fulfill this Mission and to achieve the Vision, the Seattle Bicycle Advisory Board will concentrate its efforts on the following five principles as outlined by the League of American Cyclists as key elements of a bicycle friendly community:

11) Stanford University, California – NO bicycle advisory committee

Stanford has an Alternative Tranportation Divison under the Department of Parking and Transportation.

12) Tucson/East Pima County, Arizona – -Pima County Bicycle Advisory Committee

The Tucson-Pima County Bicycle Advisory Committee (TPCBAC) was established to serve in an advisory capacity to local governments on issues relating to bicycle recreation, transportation, and safety.
The TPCBAC is involved in promoting the development of a safe bicycling environment in the City of Tucson and Pima County.
Members of the Committee include representatives from:
• each of the Wards of the City of Tucson,
• unincorporated Pima County,
• the Arizona Department of Transportation,
• the Pima Association of Governments ("PAG"),
• the City of Tucson Department of Transportation,
• the Pima County Department of Transportation,
• the City of Tucson Police Department,
• the Pima County Sheriff's Department,
• the University of Arizona,
• the Town of Oro Valley,
• the Town of Marana,
• the University of Arizona,
• Davis-Monthan Air Force Base,
and other representatives from local governments and other constituencies.

Boulder Attributes Platinum Ranking to City's Bike Summit Last Year

The Boulder Daily Camera carried the following article in today's paper:
(For details on the Boulder Platinum Summit meeting scroll down)

Bike-friendly rank bumped up to platinum
Boulder's bicycle- friendly rank bumps up to top honors
By Laura Snider, Camera Staff Writer
Sunday, September 28, 2008

The League of American Bicyclists bumped Boulder's bicycle-friendly status from gold to platinum last week, putting the city in the company of Portland, Ore., and Davis, Calif., the only other towns with the league's highest honor.

Buzz up!vote nowShare your video, photos and news tips.
"To all the people who ride bikes in Boulder, including kids riding to school, world-class racers training for their next event, commuters riding to worker, mountain bikers riding Marshal Mesa and families biking to the farmer's market, I say thank you," Mayor Shaun McGrath said in a statement.

The designations, which must be applied for, are based on everything from well-designed bike lanes and multi-use paths to cyclist education and bicycle-law enforcement liaisons.

There are seven official bicycle-friendly communities in Colorado, including bronze-rated Longmont and gold-rated Fort Collins. As a whole, Colorado ranks 22 out of 50 for bicycle-friendly states. Washington is the friendliest, according to the league, and West Virginia is the least supportive of bicycling.

The city said ongoing efforts to encourage biking and the bike summit held in Boulder last year, which forged bonds between government agencies and leaders in the bike community, were responsible for the higher rating. Mayor McGrath also acknowledged that Boulder still has improvements it wants to make.

"I am aware, as are most cyclists in Boulder, that we still have work to do to make bicycling safer and more attractive to more people," he said. "This award will inspire the city, and hopefully our community, to continue to progress.

For more information on the League of American Bicyclists rating system, go to

Contact Camera Staff Writer Laura Snider at 303-473-1327 or

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Does CSU Need a Bike Coordinator or an Alternative Transportation Coordinator?

A Fort Collins landlord who rents properties to students near Colorado State University has built "the Cycle Pad" or bike storage facility “to promote sensible transportation to our CSU student tenants.”As he explains, “this may not surprise you but many of our CSU tenants drive their cars to campus each day, rather than walk or bike. Now when you consider that our properties are located within 300 feet of campus the car thing is bizarre to say the least. So we are trying to help tenants break the habit by focusing on the bicycle as a safer, quicker, healthier and more enjoyable way to commute the 300 feet to CSU. All our tenants have cars; many do not have bikes…yet.”

Mom Explains why Students Don't Ride

A CSU mom writes with some pretty clear reasons why her daughter doesn’t ride at to CSU:
“My daughter is a bike-riding student at CSU this year, but I can give you some insight into what needs to change for cycling to take off at CSU.

First, there are only a very few lockers at CSU, which must be rented, and none of them are large. It's hard to carry a laptop, helmet, removable bike light, large books, etc. all day. My daughter drove her car to school when she was a member of the Visual Ensemble because there was no other place to store her flags, but in her car.

Also, it would be a big draw for cycling if students were able to ride between classes and this advantage was pointed out to them. However, there seem to be large areas of campus where bicycling is prohibited, making it difficult, if not impossible, to ride to classes in time. Bicycle lanes need to be really well-marked and allow access to all parts of campus in as short a distance as is reasonable. In winter, my daughter has had real difficulty riding her bike when it's snowy. Perhaps a snowplow/sweeper thing for bike lanes?

One other thing, she's had her seat stolen, her basket stolen, and she interrupted a guy trying to take her fender.... They need publicized cameras on the bike racks and a program to prosecute and scare the hell out of thieves. I would also publicize the number of thieves caught to show that the program is working and to scare them off.

One other thought: lights are required to ride at night which most students have to do. Bike paraphernalia is expensive. And, they have to get their bike registered. Maybe a mid-campus registration week with free light giveaway. '

Just some thoughts.

What Universities Have Bicycle Coordinators?

You guessed it: UC Davis and Portland State, both in towns with Platinum Level Bicycle Community Designations have them. Here are some resources:

Explore the UC Davis Bicycle Program here:
and read all about Davis as a bike town here:
“A Bicycle Friendly Community - The Davis Model”(a paper presented at Pro Bike/Pro Walk, September 1998, Santa Barbara, CA)By David Takemoto-Weerts (UC Davis Bicycle Program Coordinator)Read David’s paper

Portland State University
Has a transportation options coordinator and a campus bike co-op:

Chicago Department of Transportation has a University Marketing program that encourages students, faculty, and staff to bike/walk/take transit to campus in place of driving. The program is in place at the five largest universities: University of Chicago, University of Illinois at Chicago, Loyola, Northwestern, and DePaul. Each campus has a student intern who coordinates programming at the school. The intern is paid half by the University and half by the Chicago Department of Transportation. I coordinate the interns and assist with creating objectives and moving the program forward.

Univeristy of Minnesota twin cities campus
Has had a bike coordinator since 1996!
I’m sure there are more.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Boulder Celebrates 1st Anniversary of Platinum Bike Summit


Boulder City Council sponsored a Bike Summit Sept. 7, 2007 with the purpose of achieving Platinum status from the League of American Bicyclists.

Among the suggestions coming out of the summit:  
  • World class recreational cycling for all ages;
  • Bikes on Transit;
  • Wayfinding initiatives;
  • Bike Education in Schools;
  • Bike Service Stations;
  • Car free zones;
  • Active Living Business Cluster.

"The bike summit was attended by nearly 100 people, inclucing leaders from the bicycling community and staff from a number of local agencies, who gathered to brainstorm a vision of of vision that would make Boulder the bicycling capital of the world in 20 years.  The pdf Bike Summit Report is a recording of the recommendations and initiatives identified by summit participants.

The summit was a collaborative community effort. City staff's primary role was to listen carefully and to facilitate a broad and open discussion amongst participants, with no attempt to explain why something wasn't feasible or how it didn't fit into current city plans.

Follow some of these links for more on the Boulder initiative:

From the report on the summit:

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Fort Collins Named #2 Place to Live in USA

Fort Collins recently was named the number 2 (#2) place to live in the US by Money Magazine. According to their online posting:

"One of the first things you notice about this Rocky Mountain city is that practically every new road has a bike lane. Even the wheelless can get in on the action now that Fort Collins has a bike library: Residents and visitors can check out a bicycle for up to seven days, free."
This is down a notch for Fort Collins since the same poll put our fair city at #1 in 2006. Not to worry, though, since we lost the number 1 spot to Plymouth, Minnesota. Have you ever tried to ride a bicycle in Minnesota in winter? Neither have we, but still . . . . We'll take #2 any day!

Above, two bike library patrons check out bikes for the week: "We want to try them a bit before deciding if we should buy our own bikes." bike li

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Madison Progresses toward Platinum

Madison, Wisconsin achieved Gold level status in 2006. That designation was renewed in May, 2008. According to the City of Madison’s Traffic Engineering Department: “In the fall of 2006 Madison Mayor Dave Cieslewicz formed the Platinum Biking City Planning Committee with the overall goals of

1) achieving the Platinum designation level through the League of American Bicyclists Bicycle Friendly Communities program, and

2) putting forward a roadmap - or bike path - for Madison to become the best city in the country for bicycling.”

In April 2008 that plan was adopted by the Madison Common Council. Have a look:

There is no reason why Fort Collins can’t have such a plan.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Portland’s 2008 Bicycle Friendly Community Application

Portland's Spring 2008 application for the Platinum Level award is required reading for anyone in Fort Collins interested in seeing us win the Platinum Level Bicycle Friendly Community award:

According to the League of American Bicyclists "Portland entered the program in 2003 at Gold and has worked . . . to achieve Platinum. Bicycle use in Portland has increased
by 144% since 2000, and they are experiencing double digit percentage growth annually
in their levels of cycling."

Fort Collins recieved the Silver level award in 2003. It has been renewed twice now for a total of six years at Silver (taking us through 2009).

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Portland takes Platinum

Indeed today Portland, Oregon will receive the highest Bicycle Friendly Community award from the League of American Bicyclists. We should all plan a trip to the City of Roses to see how they did it!

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Fort Collins Bike Share Program

The Fort Collins Bike Library is based in the information kiosk in Old Town Square. Open 10 - 6 Friday, Saturday and Sunday, bikes can be checked out free of charge for up to 3 days. During the week other options exist. Just consult the links posted in this blog to arrange to pick up a bike! We may be one of the first in the US - without the help of Clear Channel Outdoor!

Bike Share Programs in US

The NYTimes reports today (April 27, 2008) that Clear Channel Outdoor will launch a Paris—style bike sharing program in cooperation with the District of Columbia beginning in May.  The program is modeled after the project in Paris sponsored by Clear Channel’s big competitor, JCDeCaux.  The program will begin with 1200 bikes in ten stations in DC. Fancier than the Fort Collins Bike Library, with automated check outs and tracking, I’m sure the DC bike-share program will cost a lot more than the Fort Collins Bike Library!   For details on the Paris Velib program visit:



Thursday, April 24, 2008

Iowa City Bike Library offers Beginning Bicycle Commuter Class for Women

Bike Fort Collins began a conversation about bicycling for women in November 2007. Iowa City's Bike Library is offering a commuter class directed toward women"

"Beginning Bicycle Commuter Class workshop will be from 2 to 3:30 p.m. Saturday at the Iowa City Bike Library, 408 E. College St.
This class is specifically geared toward women, yet it is open to the public.
It will focus on the basics of bike commuting, including how to get started. The goal is to demystify bicycles and help remove barriers to cycling. The class is free and limited to 15."
See the Iowa City announcement here:
Read about the Iowa City bike library:

A Platinum level Bicycle Friendly City would offer such things on a regular basis.
Contact if you'd like to see something like this offered in Fort Collins.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Davis, CA is Nation's Only Platinum Level Bicycle Friendly Community

Interested in knowing why Davis is the only League of American Bicyclists' Platinum level Bicycle Friendly Community? Here are a few links to tell you about Davis as Bike Town USA:

A "platinum level" bike ride through Davis, California
by Gene Bisbee at 10:42AM (PST) on February 6, 2008

League of American Bicyclists Description of Davis, CA

Davis, CA community wiki

So I can't ride on College Avenue, right?

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Austin, TX City Council Considers Gold Level Bicycle Friendly Community Resolutions

This just in from the folks at Austin's yellow bike project ( )

Two recommendations for City Council:

Subject: Approve a resolution supporting efforts to upgrade the City of Austin?s bicycle network by establishing the city?s intent to become the first Texas city to attain Gold level bike-friendly status from the League of American Bicyclists; supporting the work of the Street Smarts Task Force January 2008; and directing the City Manager to study and report back to Council with recommendations for inclusion of the Street Smarts Task Force findings into the Austin Bicycle Master Plan.

Sponsor: Mayor Will WynnCo-Sponsor1: Council Member Brewster McCracken Co-Sponsor2: Council Member Sheryl Cole

Subject: Approve a resolution directing the City Manager to direct the City Public Works Department and Parks and Recreation Department, and other departments as necessary, to collaborate to adopt a comprehensive and unified interdepartmental vision and coordinated plan to optimize City efforts to promote an enhanced and interconnected bicycling, pedestrian and trails network; and to provide a report to Council on the completion of the plan and the advisability of staff reorganization to support implementation of the plan.

Sponsor: Council Member Sheryl ColeCo-Sponsor1: Mayor Will Wynn Co-Sponsor2:

Maybe (maybe?) our Council could commit to a Platinum level award for Fort Collins

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Why a Platinum Bike Plan Blog for Fort Collins and why now?

1. Our Bike Plan was written in 1995 and updated in 2008.
2. With the 2008 update City Council mandated that the City Manager create a Bicycle Advisory Committee (BAC) to advise Council and City Staff on bicycle matters in Fort Collins. The BAC is taking shape now.
3. Once created, the BAC needs to hear from YOU on how to implement the existing plan and how to engage cyclists and others in improving that plan.

Why a “Platinum” plan? What’s that?

1. Bicycle Friendly Community awards are given by the League of American Bicyclists (LAB). We had the Silver level award from 2003 until 2008 when we got th gold award. There is just one level left, Platinum. Boulder, Colorado, Portland, Oregon, andDavis, California all have the Platinum level award. Some of us think that Fort Collins should be next.
2. The LAB program gives us a metric and a goal. We need to start aiming towards that goal.

How do we get to Platinum?

1. There is no simple formula but the bottom line is this: “what percentage of trips to work are made by bicycle in our community?” If we could answer 16% (like Davis, CA) we’d get the Platinum. Or if we could answer 8% (like Portland and Boulder) we’d get the platinum. We’re at about 5.5% give or take.

So how do we do this?

1. Develop good metrics so we can really understand how many people pedal in Fort Collins.
2. Develop a real bicycle culture where motorists respect cyclists and cyclists respect motorists and follow the rules of the road.
3. Develop an educational outreach program to teach newcomers to town (like all those CSU students every August) that they are a vehicle. That they need to be predictable, visible, use lights at night, stop at stop signs, and not go the wrong way in a bike lane.
4. Make everyone including kids, seniors, students, commuters, racers, and recreational cyclists feel safe on the road.

How does the blog help?

1. By giving us a tool box, idea box, and shared resource to brainstorm how to build our bicycle culture. Here are just a few ideas to get you started:
a. Expand the Fort Collins Bike Library check-out locations to every major hotel in town and to the two parking garages in Old Town.
b. Fix the asphalt trails in our City parks.
c. Finish the Downtown Strategic Plan to complete bike lanes east and west across College Avenue at all major intersections.
d. Implement the Canyon Avenue bicycle bouleveard from the west side of CSU campus to Old Town with access to College through the Oak Street Plaza.
e. Begin planning for an overpass/bridge/gateway to the City on Harmony Road where the Powerline Trail is now scheduled to cross Harmony.

2. The BAC which is just now being formed will have lots of public input to get started!