The city of Colorado Springs has announced that the striping on Weber St between Rio Grande St to the south and Pikes Peak Ave to the north will be modified to remove the parking protected bike lane starting October 22, reconfiguring it with a buffered bike lane between the travel lane and parked cars. Restriping is scheduled to be complete the first week of November depending on weather. While disappointed by the decision to remove this separated bicycle infrastructure, we are encouraged by the choice to keep the vehicle lane configuration, with a single vehicle travel lane in each direction, while including buffered bike lanes to provide safe routes for all people who use this roadway. We thank the City for their explanation of why they believe a change is necessary.
City of Colorado Springs Statement regarding Weber St Reconfiguration
As a fast-growing, best-in-class city, Colorado Springs must be willing to investigate new ideas and innovations in a number of areas. Our community has expressed a need for multi-modal transportation options, and it is an area we continue to investigate.
The parking-protected bike lanes on Weber were installed as an effort to create a safe option for people who ride bikes downtown. While successful in some other cities, a variety of factors, including the location of our fire station and the high volume of driveways along Weber contributed to our conclusion that this configuration was just not appropriate for this road.
BCS agrees with the city’s efforts to evaluate new and innovative types of infrastructure to improve transportation choices throughout Colorado Springs. Improved bicycle infrastructure will come to our community more quickly if we are willing to try new things, and be willing to reconfigure if necessary, learning as we go.
We applaud the city’s traffic engineering team for the completion of multiple critical bike connections throughout 2018, some of which were long needed . These connections are important particularly since unconnected bikeways often see limited use. BCS will continue to advocate for the implementation of a broad, connected bicycle network, as outlined in our city’s newly adopted Bicycle Master Plan. This includes the continuation of bike lanes on Weber St north of Pikes Peak Ave into Downtown and through the Old North End.
BCS continues to believe that on-street bicycle infrastructure that separates vehicle traffic from bicycle traffic is safest for all users while encouraging more people to use bicycles as transportation. It is crucial that all traffic infrastructure be designed to make its use intuitive for users. BCS will continue to work with the city to make sure that communications about new types of infrastructure are clear at the time of implementation. The lessons learned from Weber Street were used when the parking protected lanes on Pikes Peak were implemented. The lanes on Pikes Peak Ave are an improvement from Weber, we strongly encourage our Traffic Engineers, Planners and other staff at the city to continue this trend. We will also work with city staff to implement thorough user education and communication strategies on future projects.
BCS formed to be the voice of bicyclists in our community; as such we ask for your help in coming together as a city to support safety of all road users. BCS believes that Colorado Springs is near a tipping point, making bicycling a safe and accepted form of transportation, but much work still remains. We need businesses standing up saying “I need safe and effective transportation choices for my customers to access my store”. We need developers saying “I need better ways for my tenants to safely get around our growing city”. We need employers saying ”I need safe ways for my employees to get to work”. And we need residents saying “ My family and I want the choice to use our bikes as a safe way to get to the places we care about in Colorado Springs.”