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New bike master plan released, El Pomar pledges $1M to bike park 

Big news for bikes

click to enlarge A rendering shows what a Springs bike park could look like. - FLOWRIDE CONCEPTS
  • Flowride Concepts
  • A rendering shows what a Springs bike park could look like.
This has been an exciting week for local cyclists with the announcement of the completion of Colorado Springs’ new bike master plan and more hints that an expansive bike park may be in the city’s future. (The idea already has $1 million in funding.) Here’s the news:

• Colorado Springs City Council has adopted its new bicycle master plan — “COS Bikes!” — which can be viewed at coloradosprings.gov/bikeplan.

“The Bicycle Master Plan establishes a vision and roadmap for how Colorado Springs can provide a level of programming and bike infrastructure across the entire city that accommodates the range of users who want or need to bicycle and doing so through efficient use of City resources,” City Council President Pro Tem Jill Gaebler stated in a release.

The new plan encompasses everything from public relations, policies, programs and partnerships to bicycle infrastructure. It calls for a “Vision Network” of 379 miles of trail and on-street corridors. (There are currently over 120 miles of bike lanes, 80 miles of paved trails, and 40 miles of unpaved mountain bike trails in the city.) However, early build-out will be focused in areas that already see heavy bike use and support like downtown, the Old North End, the city’s Westside, and the Pikes Peak Park neighborhood in the southeast. The plan recommends that at least one project per year be completed in such areas.

The city notes that some work is already underway including: promoting and enhancing the city bike map, improving wayfinding and establishing a bike count program. The plan also notes the need for a bike share, which will be introduced through a branch of the Downtown Partnership in June.

• As previously reported, Transit Mix has suggested that its Pikeview quarry in northwest Colorado Springs could become a city bike park should the company receive approval from the Mined Land Reclamation Board and the El Paso County Board of County Commissioners for a new quarry at Hitch Rack Ranch, just outside Colorado Springs to the south on Highway 115. The Hitch Rack plan has already been turned down once by MLRB, which is expected to consider it again in late April.

Meanwhile, the El Pomar Foundation, which strongly opposes the Hitch Rack proposal, has pledged $1 million — $100,000 a year for 10 years — to underwrite the city’s operational expenses for a bike park at Pikeview or another location. Transit Mix issued a press release thanking El Pomar for its “generous pledge.”

The Gazette has reported that Pike-view may not be suitable for a bike park because of past landslides.

According to a Transit Mix release, the bike park could include “mountain, downhill and slopestyle tracks, a BMX and pump track, a youth learning area, flow trails, a cyclocross course and a bike polo field.”

The bike park is just the latest goody on offer from Transit Mix, which has previously said it would close and move two batch plants (on Costilla Street and North Nevada Avenue) and accelerate the closure of two existing quarries (Black Canyon near Manitou Springs and Pikeview) should Hitch Rack be approved.

The Hitch Rack quarry is opposed by many neighboring homeowners and some environmental groups who argue it would be noisy, could impede access to some homes, may disturb well water that travels through narrow fissures in rock, and would impact rare species.

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