Join Bike Colorado Springs and local community members at the Westside Community Center on December 7th to hear about plans for proposed westside bike boulevards on Pikes Peak Ave and Cucharras St. This proposal came out of the Midland Corridor Transportation Study that was completed in November of 2023. We’ve made is clear, through meetings with the project team and through past communications “that speed limits alone won’t make these streets safer and more comfortable for the casual rider. We’ve recommended different traffic calming approaches for these connections”. We are interested to see the recommendations from the city and consultants to see if traffic calming and traffic diversion is being planned for these projects.
Public Meeting – Midland Corridor Bike Boulevards Planning
Thursday, December 7, 2023
5:30 to 7:00 pm
Westside Community Center
1628 West Bijou Street
Colorado Springs, CO 80904
We think that taking advantage of slower, neighborhood streets is great to build a safe bicycle network where possible. While Pikes Peak and Cucharras are great lower traffic streets there are some challenges to attract more people to riding:
– Pikes Peak Ave has a large hill between 25th and 28th Streets
– Destinations are on Colorado Ave, routing bicyclists on other streets reduces bicyclists ability to interact with the popular attractions.
– Cucharras St and 21st St is dangerous to cross
– Neither Pikes Peak Ave or Cucharras St connect directly to Downtown
NACTO Bicycle Boulevard Guidelines
NACTO, an organization championing guidelines for more bicyclist, pedestrian and transit friendly deigns, has specific guidelines for Bicycle Boulevards
Bicycle boulevards do not close the street to cars but it is common for bicycle boulevard to have diversions that would allow only bicycle and pedestrian traffic through. This strategy reduces cut through traffic while still allowing human powered traffic through.
NACTO specifically calls out that Bicycle Boulevards, while allowing cars, need to ensure that speed, volume, and crossings (both small and large) are all managed with a variety of techniques. Both of these images show features that reduce vehicle volume. Other techniques like roundabouts or speed humps could be used to control vehicle speed on bicycle boulevards.
COS Bikes – Bicycle Boulevard Guidelines
One additional resource that may help guide what future bicycle boulevards look like in our city is our Bicycle Masterplan – COS Bikes, which was adopted in 2018.
Apendix B: Bicycle Facility Toolbox is the document that defines how bicycle infrastructure should be applied in Colorado Springs.
“Bicycle boulevards incorporate traffic calming treatments with the primary goal of prioritizing bicycle through-travel, while discouraging motor vehicle traffic and maintaining relatively low motor vehicle speeds. “
Unfortunately, the current bicycle boulevards in Colorado Springs have nothing more than some simple paint to make these streets safe for cyclists.
COS Bicycle Boulevards:
Cucharras Street west of 21st
N Corona St – pictured here
Beacon St and Polk St
The below text is from the City’s announcement
City website about the meeting
Bike boulevards do not have striped bike lanes and do not force the removal of on-street parking. Rather, bike boulevards incorporate traffic calming treatments with the primary goal of prioritizing bicycle through-travel, while discouraging motor vehicle traffic and maintaining relatively low motor vehicle speeds. They are typically quiet streets, often through residential neighborhoods. Treatments vary depending on context, but often include traffic diverters, speed attenuators, pavement markings, and signs. Treatments are also used to create safe, convenient bicycle crossings of busy streets.
On the Colorado Springs Bike Map, the study portion of Pikes Peak Avenue is currently classified as a bike route, which means it has been identified as a low-volume, low-speed street suitable for cycling. The study portion of Cucharras Street is also classified as a bike route; the segment of Cucharras Street between 21st Street and 28th Street is already classified as a bike boulevard but with few of the features typical of a bike boulevard.
The City will be hosting a public information meeting at the Westside Community Center on Thursday, December 7, 2023, from 5:30 to 7:00 pm to introduce the study and begin the process of soliciting input from the community.
Note from the Author
If you made it this far here’s a little context on the header image, this is Cully Radvillas our Communication chair (and author of this article) riding his whole family in his cargo bike on Pikes Peak Ave. Safe east west access connecting Manitou Springs to Downtown Colorado Springs is very important to the Bike Colorado Springs team.