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” (under construction)
A stretch of Pikes Peak Avenue through Downtown Colorado springs will be reconfigured to connect both sides of the Legacy loop trail network through the use of parking protected and buffered bike lanes. Downtown is an ideal 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 will feature vertical railings for physical separation between bikes and cars, in addition it will act as a guide for parking cars. From the eastern edge; there will be a multi-use sidepath connecting the Shooks Run trail to the newly constructed parking protected bike lanes.
Lane Layout - Shooks run trailhead to Nevada Ave
West of Nevada Ave vehicle lanes will reduce to one in each direction and the bike lanes will 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 taking the Cascade bike lane north, then left on either Pikes Peak to the Sierra Madre connection or left on Bijou to Westview Pl.
Lane Layout - Nevada Ave to Cascade Ave
Due to delayed paving, that didn’t occur until late fall of 2017, this roadway project will be implemented, in June of 2018 so some details may still change. Striping is set to begin on June 12th with a ribbon cutting scheduled later in the month.
For more information on this project, including detailed striping plans, visit the city of Colorado Springs website below.
Weber Street – Urban Neighborhood Connection:
The southern portion of Weber St through Downtown Colorado Springs will be reconfigured with parking protected 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.
This roadway project is slated to begin the week of September 4th 2017. This roadway project is still being implemented, so some details may still change. For more information on this project, including detailed striping plans, visit the city of Colorado Springs website below.
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.
- 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.
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.