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Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Fort Collins to Launch Share the Road Campaign

Fort Collins will launch a share the road campaign urging all road users to be tolerant of one another and to share the road appropriately.  Watch for these banners to launch this campaign.  

Fort Collins participated in a pilot project over the winter to explore community solutions to making roads safer for all users.  Participants in the ad hoc committee that met included bicycle advocates, injury prevention practitioners, pedestrians, and drivers education instructors, among others.  The share the road banner above will be displayed in the community to publicize the campaign.  Fort Collins and Colorado Springs were selected for this project because of the high rates of bicycle crashes in the two communities.

May is Bike to School Safety Month in Fort Collins

By Rick Price, Ph.D.
First published in the Fort Collins Coloradoan May 2, 2011

May is “National Bike Month” but in Colorado we’ve celebrated June as “bike month” since 1995 (something about snow in May).  Indeed, the official “bike week” in Fort Collins is the last week of June and bike to work day is the fourth Wednesday of June. 
A group of middle school students from Dan Schrom's PE class at Lincoln Middle School poses on a bike field trip along the Poudre Trail in Fort Collins.  The students had three weeks of bike safety lessons in April 2011 under the City's Safe Routes to School program in collaboration with the Fort Collins Bike Co-op.


Having June as official Bike Month leaves the kids out.  So thanks to several local school champions, teachers, parents and volunteer bicycle advocates we will celebrate National Bike Month this month.  Join the ride!


May 2 – 6 is Bike to school week at Lesher Middle School where math teacher Rob Breshears is coordinating the Biking Vikings for the third year.   Ride your bike every day this week and get a variety of perks including a free t-shirt, a free light or bell, a bike tune-up from Full Cycle bike mechanics, breakfast on Thursday, a demonstration of wheel building from Phoenix Cyclery, and a chance to win a free bike for all those who participated in Walking and Wheeling Wednesdays through April.
May 12 is the All-school Car-free Bike & Walk to School Day at Laurel Elementary. Bevin Barber-Campbell, a parent volunteer who moved from Bozeman, Montana last fall, has taken over coordination of the Bike to School Program at Laurel and is excited to promote the district’s first “car-free” bike and walk to school day.   Check with the main office at Laurel for details on the “walking school bus” and “bike train” that all students are encouraged to join. 
May 7 & May 14 (both Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 12 noon) the Bike Co-op will hold a kids bike swap and bike helmet clinic.  While teaching in our schools the past four months I saw that 90% of the kids in town are riding bikes that are too small for them.  So the bike swap will encourage families to bring bikes in that are too big or too small and trade them with a neighbor for the right sized bike.  The swap will operate in the Bike Co-op parking lot at 331 North College Avenue.  For more information visit http://www.fcbikecoop.org/.

May 19 – 20 Bauder Elementary will take their 4th and 5th graders on a bike field trip with PE teacher Chris West.  This is the second year that Coach West has done this after three weeks of bicycle safety instruction in PE classes.  Chris is providing a great example of how to teach our kids bike safety in regular classes and the kids all look forward to this field trip. 

May 28, a Saturday, from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. FCBikes is offering a Kids II bicycle clinic at Northside Aztlan Center for 5th and 6th graders.  This is a seven-hour on-bike skills class that teaches safe cycling on neighborhood streets and bike trails.  Contact FCBikes@FCGov.com for information.

Check with the main office in your kids’ schools for other events and begin planning now for your own bike to school events next year.  

Mountain Avenue Sharrows (Shared Lane Arrows) Installed in Old Town Fort Collins


City of Fort Collins Streets Department workers install sharrows on East Mountain Avenue near the corner of Mountain and Remington on May 3, 2011.  This is an innovation in Fort Collins where sharrows have been tested in the past but not installed in Old Town.  "Sharrows" or shared lane arrows are large stencils that indicate to both motorists and bicyclists that the outside lanes on Mountain Avenue from Howes Street east to Riverside Avenue are to be shared and that bicyclists should use the center of the lane.  This moves bicyclists out of the danger zone behind diagonally parked cars and into the center of the lane where they share the lane with cars single file rather than side by side.