On street Bicycle Infrastructure comes in many forms, ranging from minimal changes to the road ways to separated, bicycle specific facilities. With 5,688 Lane Miles of Roadway, Colorado Springs bicycle facilities run the gamut, from bicycle boulevards to protected bike lanes. Bike lanes are, if implemented appropriately, a great form of on-street bicycle infrastructure as bicycle riders are designated a portion of the roadway for their use. Protected bike lanes take that one step further by physically separating automobile traffic from bicycle traffic; basically a sidewalk for bicycles. This type of comfortable, safer infrastructure is what Bike Colorado Springs advocates for, as it appeals to people of all ages and skill levels (not just the athletic and fearless).

Downtown Roadway improvements

bike lane and parking protected bike lane implementation

The city of Colorado springs is in the process of implementing improvements to roadways throughout downtown Colorado Springs, many of which were outlined in the Experience Downtown master plan. While some of these projects will leave the street layout unchanged, some other projects will allow the city “to implement some multimodal projects designed to enhance safety and access for all users.” Additionally, this project contributes to the “Link the Loop” route, giving Legacy Loop trail users a convenient way to connect across the Loop through the Downtown core.

Pikes Peak Ave – Urban Trail connection “Link the loop”

A stretch of Pikes Peak Avenue through Downtown Colorado springs has been configured to serve as a link connecting both sides of the Legacy loop trail network through the use of parking protected and buffered bike lanes. Downtown is an ideal location for this project, Pikes Peak, specifically because it has a low traffic volume and directly links people from Shooks Run trail into the downtown core.

These Parking protected lanes on Pikes Peak Avenue between Corona Street and Nevada Avenue feature vertical railings for physical separation between bikes and cars, in addition it acts as a guide for parking cars. From the eastern edge; there is a multi-use sidepath connecting the Shooks Run trail to the newly constructed parking protected bike lanes.

Pikes Peak parking protected bike lane

West of Nevada Ave single vehicle lanes continue in each direction while the bike lanes transition to buffered bike lanes, with a five foot buffer between the diagonal parking until Pikes Peak ave ends at Cascade. Bicyclists can then get to the Pikes Peak greenway trail by crossing to the sidewalk as marked at Cascade or taking the Cascade bike lane north, then left on either Pikes Peak to the Sierra Madre greenway connection. the other option is to take the Cascade bike lane north turning left on Bijou to the greenway connection at Westview Pl.

Pikes Peak buffered bike lane - Nevada Ave to Cascade Ave

Weber Street – Urban Neighborhood Connection:

The southern portion of Weber St through Downtown Colorado Springs has been configured with buffered bike lanes from the Pikes Peak Ave on the north to Rio Grande on the south. Weber street was designated as an urban greenway by the Experience Downtown Master Plan and will provide a safe connection for people traveling by bicycle through the southern portion of Downtown Colorado Springs.

Additionally Weber St north of Pikes Peak Avenue has been identified as a candidate for a road diet in order to accommodate both transit and bicycle connectivity. The buffered bike lane is planed to continue north in conjunction with repaving occurring in 2020.

Old North End Transportation Improvements

Cascade Avenue between Bijou and Jackson streets has been configured to enhance pedestrian safety near Colorado College, improve traffic flow onto I-25, and install a north/south bicycle connection into downtown. This critical on-street bicycle connection into downtown from the neighborhoods north of Downtown  includes a buffered bike lane, connecting to the bike lanes already installed on Cascade Ave between Platte and Bijou.

Fontanero St was identified as a street to install bicycle infrastructure as key east/west bicycle corridor and a connection from neighborhoods to Monument Valley Park and the Legacy loop. Fontanero St between Cascade St and El Paso/Paseo Rd has been configured as a two lane road with a center turn lane and bike lanes.

ONEN on street improvements map

Bike Lane and Parking Protected bike lane

– How to –

Generic protected bike lane layout and use

Ride in direction of traffic

Most bike lanes in Colorado Springs are ‘one-way’ bike lanes, meaning that you should only travel in the lanes in the same direction as car traffic. Do not ride against traffic and against the flow of bikes in the bike lane, even though you may be tempted to do so.

Exceptions:

  • 2 way cycle track where bicycle traffic has a dedicated lanes that are marked in both directions.
  • Contra-Flow bike lane where bicycle traffic has a dedicated lane on a one way street where bicycle traffic is allow to travel opposite of car traffic

Am I allowed to ride outside of the bike lane?

You are legally allowed to leave the bike lane or protected bike lane, which you may need to do if it is blocked for some reason by a car or if there is a hazard in the way. You may also leave the protected bike lane to make a left or right turn. No, reason to worry when needing to make a turn out of a protected bike lane, there are many gaps in the ‘protection’ where you can leave the lane to make your turn or reach your destination.

Watch for pedestrians

Bike lanes are often adjacent to parked cars and sidewalks so it is common for pedestrians to be crossing the bike lanes. Also be aware of car doors which may open into the bike lane and for divers exiting their cars.

Parking protected bike lanes have cars park on your left as you bicycle between them and the curb. When drivers park out in the floating parking spaces, they walk across the protected bike lane to get to the curb to go to their destination or pay their parking meter. So, watch for people walking to and from cars and the sidewalk. Pedestrians may not be aware of traffic in protected bike lanes at first, so please be aware and courteous to pedestrians inadvertently in the lane.

Watch for right-turning cars at driveways and minor streets

The city has worked to optimize sight lines where parking protected street designs have been implemented. Visibility on parking protected bike lanes is greatly improved for bicyclists and drivers pulling out of driveways,  verses bike lanes with parking to the right of the bike lane, but drivers turn right across the protected bike lane may not see you at first, bicyclists need to remain aware at driveways and minor cross streets.

How do I make a left turn?

To make a left turn, you have several options.

two-stage left turn (box turn, Copenhagen left)

For this, you stay in the bike lane or protected bike lane and proceed straight into the intersection of the street where you want to make a left turn, making yourself aware of perpendicular traffic turning right on red. Position yourself on the far side of the intersection just outside of the bike lane, either to the right or left as is safe. Then, re position yourself to the left and proceed across the cross street when safe to do so or when the light changes if there is a signal.

2 stage left

Vehicular left turn

Leave the bike lane or protected bike lane in advance of your left turn and ride like a vehicle to merge left and position yourself properly for a left turn. * NOTE * protected bike lanes make this type of turn more difficult as there aren’t always gaps to leave the protected lane.

Vehicular left

Be ready for merge zones

On your approach to major intersections the bike lanes or protected bike lanes end and a merge zone starts. In the merge zone, the bike lane is striped to the left of a right turn pocket for cars. In some cases green paint has been used in conflict zones to direct you where to go. At the far side of the intersection, the bike lane or protected bike lane resumes.