Getting around Downtown Colorado Springs is going to be a lot easier this year – specifically for bicyclists. City planners, traffic engineers, tourism and outdoor recreation groups, plus many more have come together to create solutions for an often mentioned challenge of Colorado Springs: Transportation. Public transit took a drastic change for the better back in 2014 when both Lyft and Uber started serving the Colorado Springs region. Suddenly citizens had quick and affordable ways to commute by car. But this didn’t help the walk-ability or short distance trips, not to mention opportunities for recreation. Three major initiatives are going to change the way both tourist and locals get around Downtown Colorado Springs, plus improve safety and convenience for bike riders.
PikeRide Bike Share
Originally planned to be called PikeCycle, PikeRide is a bike share service which will have multiple bike stations around the heart of the city (phase 1 includes a perimeter of Fillmore to Fountain and I-25 to Union). If you’re not familiar with the concept of bikeshare, basically it allows riders to grab any of the available 208 bikes from one of many 26 bike racks (called “hubs”) throughout the greater Legacy Loop area. By simply using a free mobile app, the biker can both unlock and pay for his or her ride and return the bike to any station. You can also purchase extended memberships for the day, month or year which comes with perks like free rides. The program will be managed by Downtown Ventures, which is a non-profit segment of the Downtown Partnership. It may seem like minimal effort and staffing needed, but when you think through distributing bikes equally among the stations, maintenance of bikes, and other customer service issues, it will require a combination of full and part time staff. Although the Downtown Partnership and Kaiser Permanente are heading up the effort, PikeRide is still looking for sponsors and those interested in membership opportunities, and can be contacted at (719) 886-0088. Download the BCycle mobile app so you are ready to ride Colorado Springs in June 2018! Plus, the same app and bike share system work in both Boulder and Denver, so you’ll be able to use your account up and down the front range, plus in nearly 40 other cities across the nation.
Legacy Loop Trail
Legacy Loop is a thoughtful and connected trail system around the greater downtown Colorado Springs area, perfect for bike riding, walking, jogging, and more. It’s 10 miles of trail systems to connect major attractions and parks, including Monument Valley Park and America the Beautiful Park, where events and activities are often scheduled. The Legacy Loop Trail System will help with connectivity and encourage the outdoor spirit of wellness Colorado Springs is known for nationwide. It makes daily transportation easier, plus encourages more participation in events like Bike To Work Day. As we increase our exposure in the bicycling community, we are also more likely to build the tourism excitement for the city by locking in key events like the Colorado Classic Bike Race we hosted in 2017.
Dedicated and Protected Bike Lanes
If you’re not on the Legacy Loop Trail, navigating through traffic downtown can be tricky, especially on busy streets like Tejon Street and Nevada Avenue. With increased bicycle traffic, Downtown Partnership, City Government, and other groups are coming together to provide better bike lanes on streets throughout Colorado Springs, with a focus on downtown. This involves incorporating marked and designated bike lanes onto city streets and even some reconstruction of the streets, parking, and landscaping to protect cyclists. For instance, you will start seeing parking protected bike lanes, where parked cars serve as a barrier between the traffic and bicyclist to help keep moving traffic separated from bicyclists. Other practices will be used to accomplish the same goal, including buffered bikes lane, which are typically street marking that create additional space between the rider and traffic, and additional signage and bike lanes painted bright green as an additional alert to drivers to stay in their lane and watch for bicycle traffic. Although some of these changes will mean additional funds and design, the city is also implementing many of the projects at the same time other work is being done, such as repaving roads, which will help save tax payer dollars.
Overall, these major projects are the work of many hours of planning and input from various community groups. These three key projects will help accomplish 5 key goals as noted on the Springs.gov webiste: Safety, Viability, Integration, Accessibility and Ridership.
The bike master plan can be found on the City of Colorado Springs website (https://coloradosprings.gov/bikeplan), as well as helpful tools like the city bike map, bike safety tips, and further information about various phases and execution of these (and more) bike projects.
Download the Bcycle app for Apple or Android