The city of Colorado Springs will begin installing bike lanes June 12 on Pikes Peak Avenue between Cascade Avenue and North Corona Street.
This connection will link the Shooks Run Trail to the downtown core and connect with existing bike infrastructure on Cascade Avenue and Weber Street.
Between Nevada and Cascade avenues, Pikes Peak Avenue will be reduced to one lane in each direction and restriped with buffered bike lanes to accommodate diagonal pull-in parking and to provide a five-foot buffer for backing motorists.
Between Corona Street and Nevada Avenue, Pikes Peak Avenue will be reduced to one lane in each direction and restriped with parking-protected bike lanes.
During the installation June 12 through June 15, traffic will be moved to one side of the roadway and reduced to one travel lane in each direction, in phases moving east from Cascade Avenue to North Corona Street.
Parking will be restricted as work is conducted on each block.
The reconfiguration is part of the Link the Loop project. The name refers to the Legacy Loop, a 10-mile trail system that surrounds downtown Colorado Springs. It is defined by the Pikes Peak Greenway on the west and south, the Shooks Run trail on the east, and the Rock Island Corridor to the north.
“We want to make sure people have a good route to get downtown to shop and eat,” said Sara Humbargar, vice president of development services for the Downtown Partnership. “Pikes Peak Avenue is a critical aspect of that — it connects to the eastern edge [the Shooks Run trail].”
The Partnership worked with the city to develop the Experience Downtown Master Plan. A key goal of the plan is to create a more pedestrian- and bicycle-friendly downtown.
Bike lanes have already been installed on Cascade Avenue and Weber Street. Along with other lanes already present or planned, the bike infrastructure will provide both east-west and north-south connections.
“You can now get off the Legacy Loop at Cache la Poudre and get to downtown,” Humbargar said. “We’re looking at where there are natural connections to the trail corridor.”
The parking-protected bike lanes that will be installed on Pikes Peak east of Nevada Avenue will be configured similarly to those on Weber Street — the first city street where parking-protected bike lanes were implemented. Additional infrastructure will be employed on Pikes Peak in response to citizen feedback on the Weber lanes.
The Pikes Peak lanes “will have guide rails and vertical delineators that are more permanent than the plastic delineators” on Weber, said Kim Melchor, lead communications specialist for the city. The rails will be installed between the bike lanes to offer both vertical and horizontal delineation and serve as a parking guide.
“As we implement the infrastructure, we want to make sure we’re catching all the tweaks,” Melchor said. “Sightlines pulling out of driveways was one problem with Weber. We’re being more cognizant of that.”
To help people learn how the parking-protected lanes work, signage will be installed to assist cyclists, motorists and pedestrians.
The new infrastructure giving pedestrians, cyclists and motorists their own dedicated spaces improves safety for everyone. It also is expected to enhance economic development.
“Economic impact studies show cyclists do come downtown and spend money,” Humbargar said. Bike friendliness “is also a catalyst that helps attract businesses to locate downtown.”
The master plan identifies Pikes Peak Avenue as an urban greenway that currently carries a low traffic volume but connects nearby neighborhoods to the downtown core.
Completion of the Pikes Peak Avenue project has been many months in development and implementation.
Stormwater and utility work was conducted on Pikes Peak Avenue last fall in advance of scheduled paving and offered an opportunity to incorporate pedestrian and bicycle safety improvements, including extended medians that provide a mid-intersection refuge for pedestrians.
New angled parking in the median east of Nevada Avenue was installed to echo the configuration of the western blocks.
For more information about how to use the parking-protected bike lanes and downtown roadway projects supporting the Experience Downtown Master Plan, visit ColoradoSprings.gov/DowntownRoadwayProjects.