bike-rideThe 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.

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“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.

3 COMMENTS

  1. Thank you for the coverage of the new buffered bike lane pilot project on Research Parkway.

    This is the kind of infrastructure that creates a safer environment on the roadway for modes of use in this corridor, it even provides markedly increased safety for the many pedestrians that utilize the sidewalks paralleling Research, as bicycles now have their own designated lane for traveling at a faster speed than a sidewalk safely allows.

    We look forward to following the project and learning about how travel along the corridor adapts as people get used to the new lane configurations and access.

    Pedal On

    Allen Beauchamp
    Bike Colorado Springs, Education & Encouragement Chair

  2. As with many well intended government initiatives this one starts with a faulty premise therefore it will end with an erroneous conclusion. In an increasingly sedentary society I applaud any effort to increase activity of any kind. However, I am ambivalent on this topic.

    I drove east on Research Parkway yesterday for the first time since the change. Personally, I was annoyed. I couldn’t believe my eyes that in an increasingly congested city there was actually a lane reduction. The beauty of Research as a major cross-town artery was that it was three lanes. What I saw were lines of traffic on both sides in the two remaining lanes.

    The faulty premise is imbedded within the above quote; “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.”

    First of all I don’t know how two lanes would “encourage people to drive at appropriate speeds.” Secondly and more importantly, there are freeways/highways, arteries and neighborhood streets. Research is not a neighborhood street. It is an artery, as is Powers, as is Academy. Once you turn off those streets and into residential areas then you are on a neighborhood street where slower speeds are necessary.

    This whole concept is flawed based on that fundamental and simple point. Research is an artery so people can get to their neighborhoods or across town quicker. It is not a neighborhood street.

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