Tuesday, September 18, 2012

City making room for bikes with new plan

Posted By on Tue, Sep 18, 2012 at 2:01 PM

Pro Cycling race
  • J. Adrian Stanley
  • The crowds at the Pro Cycling Challenge prove that biking is a big deal in the Springs.

If you're a bike enthusiast, you may remember the recent social media uproar over a rumor that the city was cutting its bike lanes program.

Cyclists were assured that the rumor — based on a social media post by a city employee — wasn't true. The city wasn't cutting funding; it was trying to find a better way to spend the money it had.

Cycling enthusiast Al Brody, who works closely with the city on bicycle planning, said the city wanted to find a way to get more bang for its buck — probably by creating longer bike lanes on well-used routes, rather than scattered, short bike lanes that abruptly halt. (Personal favorite: The Colorado Avenue bridge bike lane, which dead-ends at the entrance to downtown.)

Today, the city announced it will spend thousands to put together a new plan for bikes in the city. As expected, the new plan will put a big emphasis on bike lanes.

Read on:

City’s Bike Master Plan moves forward

The City of Colorado Springs is pleased to announce the release of a request for proposal to prepare a bike master plan for the City. This plan is made possible through the funding of a $15K planning grant from Bicycle Friendly Communities along with the use of $70K of the Bike Excise Tax. This tax is collected from the sale of bicycles and is meant for bike-specific planning and bike infrastructure.

The last bike master plan, completed in 1996, provides no clear identification of bike lanes so it is timely that this nationally-recognized, bicycle-friendly community comes together with enthusiastic perspective and strategic ideas to be incorporated into the overarching bike plan for the next 5-10 years. Look for future communication on how best to have your ideas heard.

“I’m thrilled to see the bicycle master planning process move forward,” says Kristin Bennett, Senior Transportation Planner. “This is a critical step to improving our biking facilities and will drive the most thoughtful investment in our cycling infrastructure.”

The City is also proud to announce that Kristin Bennett has been named “Professional of the Year” by the Association of Pedestrian and Bicycle Professionals for the City's exemplary trail condition and crossing surface conditions along with capital, maintenance and amenity investment. In the past year, Colorado Springs added six miles of bicycle lanes (bringing the city's total to 100 miles). The City also used shared lane markings, created a successful valet bicycle parking program, initiated a bicycle and trail counting program, and published its first bicycle map.

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