The city of Colorado Springs installed buffered bike lanes on Research Parkway Sept. 28-29 to monitor traffic speed, increase roadway safety and determine the value of additional bike infrastructure.
Between Chapel Hills Drive and Austin Bluffs Parkway, crews used paint and flexible delineators to mark the demonstration lane roadway to enhance biker visibility and separate them from motorists.
The technique has been used by other cities including Chicago, New York and recently in Denver — a contraflow bike lane was added on Broadway to evaluate the benefits of additional bicycle infrastructure with low cost to taxpayers, said Kim Melchor, lead communications specialist for the city of Colorado Springs.
“The bike lane could create a better environment for pedestrians, not being as close to motorists, encourage people to drive at an appropriate speed and become more of a neighborhood street — more appropriate for the community,” she said.
Public input identified the need for more bike facilities; and a non-motorized transportation plan by the Pikes Peak Area Council of Governments identified Research Parkway as one of the top 21 corridors in the Pikes Peak Region for connecting multiple bike facilities.
The demo lanes will last through next summer, when Research Parkway is repaved. In the meantime, the city will monitor traffic speed and volume in the area, and gather community input to determine if the infrastructure will be permanent. To participate in the survey, visit coloradosprings.gov/RideOnResearch.
“The city will look at a variety of indicators,” Melchor said. “We want people to try it–whether riding, driving or walking along Research Parkway. There are a lot of parents who walk their dogs or walk with their kids along on the roadway because of nearby schools and parks.”
To celebrate Colorado Springs’ first buffered bike lane, the city and Bike Colorado Springs will host Ride On Research Community Ride at 11 a.m. Oct. 8 at the Briargate YMCA, 4025 Family Place. Riders will meet in the Children’s Hospital parking lot north of the YMCA and go on a 3-mile ride through the neighborhood and along Research Parkway to test out the new project. The event will also include food, giveaways and teach young riders on bike safety.