Westside Bicycle Boulevards Recap

Let the city know what you think about the westside bicycle boulevards

On December 7 around twenty community members including Bike Colorado Springs joined city staff and their consultant at the Westside Community Center on to hear about plans for proposed westside bike boulevards on Pikes Peak Ave and Cucharras St and let the city know about our collective experiences and concerns.

Visit official city project website here

Bike Colorado Springs what pleasantly surprised that many of the types of treatments that we communicated in our original post announcing the meeting are being proposed as treatments by the project’s consultant. BikeCOS continues to advocate for bicycle infrastructure on Colorado Ave but we believe that these bicycle boulevards are a step in the right direction.

All previous bicycle boulevard implementations in Colorado Springs the have fallen short but what was proposed at this meeting showed the intentions to use best practices (such as what NACTO recommends) to make these first of their kind pieces of bicycle infrastructure truly safer routes for bicycle riders with less and slower vehicle traffic. We need infrastructure that prioritizes bicyclists and that is exactly what bicycle boulevards do.

Below is a condensed version of the presention from December 7th full presentation PDF Available Here

Proposed Bicycle Boulevards on Pikes Peak Ave and Cucharras ST

Bicycle boulevards were proposed on Cucharras St and Pikes Peak Ave as part of the Midland Corridor Transportation Study.
Midland Corridor Project Website
Midland Corridor Study Final Report – Bike Boulevard Improvements start on page 49

Proposed bicycle boulevards as recommended in Midland Corridor transportation study

Related to this recommended corridor Bike Colorado Springs believes that the hill on Pikes Peak Ave between 25th and 28th street is incompatible with a bicycle boulevard and recommends that the west bound bike route is a protected bike lane on Colorado Ave through Old Colorado City.

Suggested treatments

From the Project Website “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.” Below images are from slides presented by the project consultant at the December 7th meeting.

Paint and Signage – Sharrows (AKA Shared Lane Markings), bicycle boulevard paint, and bicycle boulevard route signage are a key part of bicycle boulevards; helping to guide cyclists unfamiliar with the route on the safest corridor. When shared lane markings or paint are only treatment then yes, sharrows alone are insufficient. When they are as wayfinding and route identification in conjunction with hard infrastructure to divert and slow vehicle traffic, we believe they are appropriate. This is a NACTO recommended treatment.

Bike permeable medians – what we’ve previously referred to as modal filters, these types of barriers limit vehicle through traffic while allowing bicyclists and pedestrians to pass through. This cuts down on vehicle cut-through traffic decreasing how many cars drive on a segment of street. This is a NACTO recommended treatment.

Curb Bulbouts – Also know as curb extensions serve multiple roles narrowing the entrance and exit at intersections (reducing vehicle speed), eliminate parking all the way up to an intersection improving sightlines (Daylighting), and reduce pedestrian crossing distances to make pedestrian crossing safer. One concern of curb bulb-outs for cyclists are on roads where vehicle speeds and or volumes are higher cyclist may feel safer riding in vacant parking (which we discourage, it is much safer to take the lane) requiring cyclists to merge back with traffic which can cause dangerous interactions. Curb Bulbouts are a NACTO recommended treatment.

Mini Roundabouts – Mini roundabout provide additional traffic calming and make require cross traffic approaching an intersection with the bicycle boulevard to stop or slow without continuing straight through the intersection. This could be used to address drivers that don’t obey two way stops when crossing Pikes Peak or Chucharras where east-west vehicles don’t have stop signs. Mini Roundabouts are are a NACTO recommended treatment for minor street crossings.

Colorado Ave/Walnut Treatments

We are thankful that the city is addressing the disappearing bike lane on Colorado Ave just west of I25 but we don’t believe that this treatment goes far enough to address safety or navigation to or from the Bicycle Boulevards.

We believe a protected right turn from Colorado Ave to Walnut would be appropriate as well as additional on street markings guiding riders to or from the Bicycle Boulevards.

As we said in previous communications about the Midland Corridor Study “Colorado Ave is currently the safest on-street way to connect the Westside to Downtown across I25 via bicycle or foot it is far from a comfortable connection that would appeal to riders of all ages and abilities.” This includes scooter share riders as well as the lime scooters are prohibited from using our urban trails (the physically turn off when on an urban trail using a technology called Geo-fencing) including the Midland Trail.

Additional projects proposed by the Larger Midland Corridor Transportation Study

Midland Trail Improvements

PPRTA3 which residents we voted on in 2022, starts funding projects in 2025 and the missing segment of the Midland Trail between 25th and 21st street was one of the projects identified on the list. The graphic on the left are the proposed alignments identified in the Midland Corridor study which are less than ideal as users would cross under 21st street then re-connect to the trail by using 21st street.

Cucharras/Midland/21st Street

The City’s team agreed that the intersection of Cucharras/Midland Trail at 21st street is a concern that will be addressed with a separate project. Please mention in the survey that this this intersection should be a high priority for a safe bike and pedestrian crossing

Colorado Ave treatment

While not being addressed by this study the Midland corridor study was adopted about two years recommending a lane reduction on portions of Colorado Ave west of Limit St. There are two separate projects, both being funded through PPRTA starting in 2025 at the earliest.

One project is Colorado Ave from Limit St to 21st Street calling for a 4 to 3 lane reduction

The segment from 21st to 28th in Old Colorado City is a big reconstruction project that already received 720K in additional federal funding through a CDOT Grant Transportation alternatives grant to “improve pedestrian safety, transit access, and connectivity with the bicycling network.”

Click here for the complete midland corridor study PDF

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.

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