Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Bike Co-op to Hold Bike Town Meeting to Wrap up Community Listening Sessions

When: Wednesday, May 5 from 7 – 9 p.m.
Where: New Belgium Brewing, 500 Linden St. Fort Collins

In order to provide input into the Plan Fort Collins process the Bike Co-op has completed a series of eight community “listening sessions.” About fifty citizens, including cyclists, hikers/pedestrians and motorists came out to express their concerns and visions for a better bicycling community.

Among the concerns expressed for the near-term was a desire for better connections in the existing trail and bike lane system and more and better educational outreach to cyclists in order to reduce conflicts with other users, especially on sidewalks and trails in parks and natural areas.

For the long term the wish list includes increasing the numbers of over- and under-passes along trails like the Mason Trail and the Powerline Trail, including over or under Harmony Road. It was pointed out that grade separated crossings benefit both cyclists and motorists as it eliminates wait times at street crossings for both.

A consistent theme at several of the meetings was the idea of reducing speed limits throughout the City to 35 miles per hour or less. The point was made that if we really want to encourage biking and walking, speed limits should be reduced.

Other ideas brought forward include the concept of “bicycle boulevards” that give cyclists preference to use some neighborhood streets as thoroughfares. Streets nominated for such use included Swallow, Columbia, Stover, Canyon, Oak and Loomis. Bicycle Boulevards encourage cyclists to use through neighborhood streets while motorists might be discouraged through the use of traffic calming devices, signage, and other traffic control features. Stop lights, for example, might default to green for through cyclists while requiring motor vehicles to trigger lights through actuation devices, the opposite of how most City intersections now operate.

A community bike town meeting will be held Wednesday, May 5 from 7 – 9 p.m. at New Belgium Brewing to finalize citizens’ input from these listening sessions. Everyone is encouraged to attend, whether you ride a bicycle, drive a car, or limit your movements to walking. The goal of the meeting will be to review all the suggestions presented and vote on priority actions for the short and long term. A similar bike town meeting was held in November 2007 and resulted in the placement of 35 “share the road” signs throughout the community. Organizers of this meeting hope that new innovative ideas will emerge to present to City planners and to City Council through the City’s Bicycle Advisory Committee and the Transportation Board.

For information about the meeting call 310-5238. Or visit the Bike Co-op web site.

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