Colorado Springs held an open house on May 3, 2017, to solicit input from the public on its Bike Master Plan. The event took place in the Downtown Penrose Library on North Cascade Avenue. A couple hundred people reportedly showed up to the event, where they could walk around to different poster boards to learn about the goals and strategies that comprise the plan.
What is the Colorado Springs Bike Master Plan?
The city describes the plan as “a road map to develop our bike infrastructure from where it is right now to where we want it to be.” The idea is to make bicycling a more accessible transportation option in the city. It envisions a “network of urban trails, singletrack, and on-street infrastructure” that works for bicyclists whether they are riding to get around town, for exercise, or for pleasure.
The city listed several recommendations to implement the master plan in a PowerPoint presentation, which you can view online if you couldn’t make it to the open house. The recommendations are broken down into six categories:
- Engineering/Project Delivery: For example, conduct a survey of neighborhoods to get an idea for support to improve bike facilities in the area. Also, implement bicycle signal detection technology to identify bicycle usage patterns in the city.
- Policy: For example, pass a bike parking ordinance to address bicycle parking as part of new construction and renovation projects. Also, create a Vision Zero plan to eliminate traffic fatalities, including bicycle fatalities.
- Encouragement: For example, create a Bike Share program to make bicycles readily available to residents and visitors. Also, create a Bicycle Friendly Business program that would encourage businesses to offer bike parking, support bicycle riding, and reward bicyclists.
- Enforcement: For example, use red light cameras, speed cameras, and other enforcement methods to enforce traffic law violations by motorists and bicyclists alike.
- Education: For example, educate community leaders to share messages of new bike projects and safety. Also, improve school-based education to teach children in grades 5-8 about bike safety.
- Evaluation: For example, create a bike counting program that collects and analyzes data pertaining to bike volume in the city to identify trends. Also, make data pertaining to bike and street infrastructure easily accessible.
Can I still leave my comments on the Bike Master Plan?
Yes. If you couldn’t make it to the open house on May 3, you can fill out the Bike Master Plan Comment Card online. The comment card asks a few questions about which recommendations you believe would improve bicycling in Colorado Springs.
Why does Colorado Springs need a Bike Master Plan?
The city states that empowering citizens to get around is one of local government’s main functions. But bicycling improvements are also necessary to improve bicycle safety. The city recognizes that the current infrastructure in Colorado Springs does not adequately accommodate the need and demand for bicycling.
Unfortunately, many motorists do not recognize bicyclists’ right to the road and some believe that a bicyclist’s presence on the roadway is illegal, especially when there is no bike lane present. But bicyclists have a right to the road (whether or not there is a bike lane present) and by improving infrastructure, educating motorists on the rules of the road pertaining to cycling, and enforcing traffic safety laws, Colorado Springs hopes to improve safety for bicyclists.
What should I do if a motorist hits me while I am riding my bike?
The city’s recommendation to create a Vision Zero goal to eliminate traffic deaths is admirable, but currently, this is not our reality. All bicyclists should ride defensively and take proper preparations before riding. This means wearing a helmet and other safety gear, following the rules of the road, and always carrying a cell phone.
The cell phone is now a vital multi-purpose tool in the event of a crash. It allows injured bicyclists to call for help, take photos of an accident scene, and store information about the accident, like the motorist’s information and that of any eyewitnesses to the crash.
Even if you do not seek medical help from the scene, go to a doctor as soon as possible for an evaluation. This will help establish that your injuries are from the accident, which is important if you later file an injury claim.
Speak with a lawyer about your legal rights in the event of an accident. Sears & Associates, P.C. will evaluate your case and help you take legal action to recover compensation for your medical bills, lost wages, property damage, pain and suffering, and more. Call us at 719-471-1984 to set up a consultation.
Photo credit: dno1967b on Flickr (photographer account longer exists) via VisualHunt / CC BY