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Saturday, July 23, 2011

Bicycle Safety Town is Coming to Fort Collins

Since Council approval of the Bicycle Safety Education Plan last March City staff have been working on the Bike Safety Town called for in the plan.  Transportation Planner Matt Wempe heads a team that includes Craig Foreman, Parks Planner, and Dave Kemp, City Bike Coordinator.

The City's web site explains the project in detail beginning with the following:

"What if there was a place your family could practice safe cycling skills? The recently adopted Bicycle Safety Education Plan recommended the City construct a bicycle safety town to do just that. A bicycle safety town is a “miniature city,” complete with streets, bike lanes, and traffic signs. Families, adults, and children can all use the town to practice safe cycling skills as well as participate in classes hosted by the City and other community partners." (http://www.fcgov.com/transportationplanning/bikesafetytown.php)

Further documents identify safety towns in different communities across the country.  Frisco, Texas, for example has a safety town run by the fire department.  They have formal educational programs for different age groups, including:
  • Kindergartners:  Introduction to 911and emergency services;
  • 1st grade: Motor Vehicle and Pedestrian Safety;
  • 2nd grade:  Fire Safety and Burn Prevention;
  • 3rd grade:  Bicycle and Pedestrian Safety;
  • 4th grade:  Severe Weather and Disaster Preparedness; and
  • 5th grade:  Internet Safety and Personal Information Awareness.
Peoria, Illinois has a strictly "Bicycle Safety Town," built in the 1950s on almost four acres of land and including 4,000 linear feet of bike lanes and simulated streets.  Click here to find references to other bike safety towns on the City's web site. 

As a part of the planning for this bike safety town City staff has posted a survey online.  The purpose of the survey is to help staff  "understand how you would like to use the town and where would be a good location."   The deadline for your input is August 19, 2011.

The City's Bicycle Advisory Committee has suggested that the bike town be placed in an existing City park, centrally located with easy access by bike trail and Transfort services.  The sites being considered are about one acre in size in such parks as Rolland Moore, Edora, Beattie, and Troutman. 

Send your ideas to City staff by completing the questionaire at this link.

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