2018 Election: County Commissioners and State Transportation Propositions

This Year Election Day is Tuesday November 6!

County clerk’s throughout the state have already begun mailing out ballots. While Coloradans can register and vote through Election Day, October 29 is the last day to register and receive a mail-in ballot. 

As your local bicycling nonprofit, Bike Fort Collins feels informed voters are an important mechanism to support safe enjoyable roads for ALL cyclists in our community. Each election year there are candidates for both local offices and local ballot measures that could have some impact upon our bicycling environment. With the objective of educating voters on local candidates views towards bicycling, we’ve sent a short questionnaire to this years County Commissioner candidates. The questions and responses are below.

Bike Fort Collins cannot take any official position endorsing candidates, this is information for you to potentially consider when making your own decisions.

County Commissioner Candidate Questionaries 

Candidate: John Kefalas

Where is your favorite place to ride your bicycle?

I mostly ride my bicycle for commuting purposes such as when I need to be on the CSU campus. That said, I enjoy riding and running along the Poudre Trail – starting in Martinez Park and heading mostly west and sometimes east.

Recently a Fort Collins cyclist, Gary Moody, died in a tragic accident in the Berthoud area. What could be done to make our roads safer for all modes of transportation?  

Yes, the death of cyclist Gary Moody is a tragedy, and accidents between cyclists, pedestrians and motor vehicles happen all too often. Generally speaking, I would work to expand commuter and recreational bicycle ridership through public awareness and safety campaigns and improvements to our transportation infrastructure. In 2010, I sponsored HB-1147, the Bike Education and Safety Act (CRS 43-1-120), which provided safety curriculum for the schools and codified CDOT’s directive regarding bicycle and pedestrian safety, and I would follow up with CDOT’s pedestrian/bicycle safety coordinator to assess how we’ve implemented this law and where there are existing gaps. I would work closely with schools and safe routes to school programs, Bike FC and other stakeholders to assess specific problem areas where safety is an issue as a way to prioritize our responses. I would have the county participate in public awareness education campaign for drivers, pedestrians and bicyclists – use of helmets, following the rules of the road, distracted driving, 3-foot passing law. These are some ideas.

Do you support adoption of a local Vision Zero policy for the county, and why or why not?

Yes, I support adoption of a local Vision Zero policy for the county and the region to achieve zero traffic fatalities and severe injuries for all road users – bicyclists, pedestrians, drivers and transit users; seems to me we should include animals.

There are many bicycling infrastructure gaps between cities and unincorporated areas of Larimer County. How would you collaborate with cities to bridge those gaps? 

There are serious problems with traffic congestion and public safety on our roadways. We need to continue improving and maintaining our local and state roads and bridges, continue the progress on I-25 lane expansion and Hwy 34 repair work through the Big Thompson Canyon so people can get to work and school on time.  Nevertheless, as we grow, we can’t just pave our way out of congestion and accidents. I would use the Larimer County Transportation Master Plan as a guiding document and work with all the public and private-sector stakeholders including NFMPO, local jurisdictions, educational systems, businesses, law enforcement and community groups to ensure that our regional efforts are aligned, complementary and comprehensive. A perfect example of such collaboration is the Long View Trail – Fort Collins, Larimer County and Loveland.  I am interested in developing multi-modal transportation systems that serve everyone, including people who can’t or don’t drive, to connect our cities, towns and counties efficiently and conveniently.  I am interested in supporting state efforts to establish a phased-in front range commuter/passenger rail system. I’m interested in revisiting the pros/cons of establishing a Regional Transportation Authority (RTA) that could include a regional light-rail system and other effective mass transit options while advancing smart/sustainable growth best practices such as Transit Oriented Development (TOD) that includes affordable housing.  I am interested in work with local public and private-sector transportation and health care providers to consider service delivery systems that improve our para-transit, Non-Emergency Medical Transportation (NEMT), and Non-Medical Transportation (NMT) services for aging adults and persons with chronic medical conditions.  As mentioned, I wish to expand commuter and recreational bicycle ridership.

Bike Fort Collins supports all forms of alternative transportation. What do you feel is the importance of regional transit in Northern Colorado? 

I believe I have answered this question in #4, and I would add that we need to collaboratively develop a regional and statewide multi-modal transportation system for many reasons including: air quality and public health, public safety and traffic congestion; provision of transportation choices especially with changing demographics – aging in place, reducing energy use in the transportation sector, etc.

Candidate: Sean Dougherty

Where is your favorite place to ride your bicycle?

I really like the Long View Trail.  It allows scenery and a leisurely pace, which is good for both avid cyclists and weekenders out for a couple of miles.

Recently a Fort Collins cyclist, Gary Moody, died in a tragic accident in the Berthoud area. What could be done to make our roads safer for all modes of transportation? 

I think bicycle/vehicle safety is more than just roads. It’s also awareness.  All parties need to be aware of what’s around them, at all times.  I ride a motorcycle, and have found that I, too, need to be hyper aware, due to autos not noticing me on the roadways.  On the County side of things, I was recently involved in revising the Transportation Master Plan, and this Plan calls for widening arterial roadways throughout the County, when road projects are being completed. Please see this link for more information.

Do you support adoption of a local Vision Zero policy for the county, and why or why not?

I think that Vision Zero is an aspirational goal, but could be considered unrealistic due to costs and physical limitations, especially in the mountainous areas of Larimer County. I would be happy to work with County Staff and residents to investigate further.

There are many bicycling infrastructure gaps between cities and unincorporated areas of Larimer County. How would you collaborate with cities to bridge those gaps? 

Larimer County needs to be the convener between all municipalities in the County, for many reasons, including infrastructure.  Some of the more noticeable gaps in bicycle infrastructure occur in the Growth Management Areas, which are unincorporated parts of the County, but are dedicated to Municipal expansion.  This leaves the question of who will take on the expense and construction of these improvements.  Sometimes it will takes development to improve the roadways, in other circumstances, the County and the Municipality will need to work together.

Bike Fort Collins supports all forms of alternative transportation. What do you feel is the importance of regional transit in Northern Colorado?

Regional Transit can mean many different things.  Inside Municipal limits, it could mean a public transportation service.  In the County, it could mean car-pooling or vehicle sharing.  It can also mean rail or air passenger service.  One option for the County to prepare for the residents needs is to work with the North Front Range Metropolitan Planning Organization (NFRMPO) towards seeing what is feasible and wanted in the region.  This could include dedicated parking and pickup/drop-off service for Bustang, possible future rail service, or more viable arterial roadways that can accommodate different types of transportation (bicycle, auto, bus, etc.)  We have a ways to go, but the County has a seat at the table with the NFRMPO and all of the municipalities in Northern Colorado, and these conversations are occurring monthly. I encourage anyone who wants to attend these meetings to please do so, and get involved with what the future will look like in our region!

Ballot Propositions

There are two statewide ballot propositions dealing with transportation this year. Both of them deserve your scrutiny; they have very different approaches to funding.

Proposition 110 or “Let’s Go Colorado”  

Proposition 110, also known as “Let’s Go, Colorado,” focuses on raising revenue allocated for the state highway fund (45%), for statewide multimodal transportation options (15%), and for local transportation priorities decided by cities (20%) and counties (20%). Funding would come from a state sales tax increase of 0.62 percent, or about 6 cents for every 10 dollars spent in Colorado. Such a tax increase is expected to generate $767 million in the first year; with 15% specifically for multimodal transportation options such as bicycling, transit and walking, and the additional potential for funding from cities and counties based on their priorities.

Bicycle Colorado has stated they believe Proposition 110 has the potential to improve everyday life for Coloradans by creating healthier communities.

Proposition 109, or “Fix Our Damn Roads”

This Proposition proposes borrowing up to $3.5 billion from the state treasury for road and bridge expansion, construction and maintenance. Fix Our Damn Roads aims to widen roads, and specifically states that the money may not be used for transit projects. That would include no bicycling projects. Because this proposition supports motor vehicles only, it address only 1 of the 3 triple bottom line sustainability items.

Bicycle Colorado has stated they do not support Proposition 109 since it would not contribute towards providing healthier communities.

Safe Routes to School: Always (Safely) Rolling

The Safe Routes to School (SRTS) Program isn’t just busy in the school year, the summer is also a crazy time of year as we strive to get more kids on bikes safely! Read on to learn more about all we were up to this summer.  

Summer School: Preschool Safe Routes

This summer SRTS provided safety lessons to preschoolers in the Fullana program at Bauder and Beattie elementary schools. Eight students became new riders during this three-day program.

SRTS also spent time with preschoolers and students up to 10-years-old at Teaching Tree Early Childhood Learning Center. For the older group of students, they were taken on bike rides along the Poudre Trail, with a mandatory stop for rock skipping and toe dipping. The younger kids stayed on campus and rode balance bikes, stopped at stop signs and practiced looking both ways when crossing in the crosswalk.

Youth Creating Places

New this summer: Colorado State University’s Institute for the Built Environment and Urban Lab implemented the first ever tactical urbanism group specifically designed for students ages 12 and older.

What is tactical urbanism? It’s a practice that simulates how most cities are built. A piece-by-piece process that is especially popular in developing nations.  

What is the Institute for the Built Environment? IBE creates meaningful projects, builds team alignment and supports future leaders.

This summer program, titled “Youth Creating Places” aimed to inspire young minds to explore the city-scape, identify locations for improvements, plan some changes, design them, and finally build their own unique neighborhood ‘pop-up.’ The group of 17 succeeded in making improvements to Soft Gold Park.

In partnership with SRTS, children learned the importance of transportation in the project. One week of the program was dedicated to bike skills, safety and learning the rules of the road on the road. Along with the learning, the riders got to stop at the Poudre River for rope swinging and swimming.

Cycle hard play hard.

Hickory Park Celebration

In June, SRTS, along with the City of Fort Collins, Kaiser Permanente, La Familia, Create Places, Bike Fort Collins, and Larimer County to host the first ever “Open Streets” along Hickory Street in north Fort Collins. This event celebrated the partnerships in this neighborhood, the opening of the first Pace Bike Share station in this neighborhood, and the Active Living Program provided by Bike Fort Collins and Kaiser Permanente. SRTS provided a rodeo for youth during this event.

FoCo Fondofest

On August 4, thanks to Zach and Whitney Allison, and Jake Arnold, over 350 cyclists rode 12 – 100 miles on scenic gravel roads around Larimer and Weld Counties to raise $1,532 for Safe Routes Afterschool Bike Clubs. Special shoutout to the Allison-Arnold team and Source Endurance for the support, and a very fun ride! To learn more about the FoCo Fondofest, visit https://www.focofondo.com/events

Photo by Dion Dolva

SRTS Instructor Gathering

Did you know that Bike Fort Collins has a talented team of 20 trained SRTS instructors? These amazing people work hard during the spring and fall semesters cramming three to four Elementary Schools and four to five Middle Schools into a few short months of decent weather.

After the semester is over, the SRTS instructors deserve a celebration at the lake… which they happily accept.

Interested in Getting Involved?

Learn more about the SRTS program by visiting http://bikefortcollins.org/programs/safe-routes-to-school-2.

Learn more about volunteering by contacting Dot at dotdickerson@msn.com.

Why volunteer? Volunteers enhance the experience for all students and improve the overall success of the program.

Not able to volunteer but want to help fund the SRTS programming and instructors? Consider donating today! Learn more at http://bikefortcollins.org/support-bfc/give.

Fort Collins Bike Share is Now Pace

Bike Sharing in Fort Collins will be easier than ever before thanks to Pace, the nationwide dockless bike sharing service for smart cities and colleges.

IMG_3876

Originally launched in 2016 as an evolution of the Fort Collins Bike Library, the Fort Collins Bike Share has expanded and improved to become Pace Fort Collins – a modern, dockless bike sharing platform.

Pace, a product of Zagster, is now live in eight markets across the U.S. and offers more than three million residents, students and visitors the ability to explore their cities and towns by bike for just $1 per trip.

So, what’s new? The new Pace Fort Collins bike share program gives riders 250 bikes to choose from, more than doubling the fleet size as compared with the previous program. The new system also allows riders to park their bike at any public bike rack in the city, not just at designated stations, allowing for a more convenient, easy and worry-free riding experience. There are also more than 20 new stations, giving riders even more opportunities to use bike share for both transit and recreation.  

New stations, including a station at the Hickory neighborhood in north Fort Collins, were made possible thanks to generous local organizations who look at the bike share program as a valuable way to get around. Sponsors of these new stations include Colorado State University, Kaiser Permanente, UCHealth, Elevations Credit Union, Odell Brewing, New Belgium Brewing, Dellenbach Motors, and Housing Catalyst.

So, how do you start riding? It’s as easy as downloading an app to your smartphone!

To start, find the free Pace bike share app in the App Store or Google Play. Once the app is downloaded, and a rider profile (name and email) is created, riders will then be prompted to enter their credit card information, any promo codes, EBT card membership info or sign up for the cash payment option. (More info on all of these options can be found at ridepace.com/pledge.)

Wait, let’s back up. Did we just say cash? You bet!

A new, exciting development in the Pace Fort Collins is the ability for riders to use cash to pay for rides. To use the cash option, you will first need to call or email Pace support (ridepace.com or 833-321-PACE) to gain approval to enroll. Once access is confirmed, login to your Pace app to see a barcode linked to your account. Take this barcode to any 7-11, Family Dollar, or CVS to purchase ride credits with cash.

And then hop on a Pace bike and start exploring!

The fun doesn’t stop there though. The new Pace bikes also allow for holding rides using the integrated cable and wheel lock ring. Need to stop for a bite or coffee? No problem, simply “hold” your ride in the app, lock up and then resume riding to your final destination (which doesn’t have to be a designated station)!

Costs of riding is also affordable. All rides cost $1 per half hour (the first 30-minute ride for every new user is free) while a yearly membership is only $29 per month. Additionally, promo codes and free ride time is available throughout the year, look for these codes and opportunities on our Facebook, Instagram and through volunteer newsletters.

Side note for safety: don’t forget your helmet! While Pace Fort Collins does not come with helmets, helmets can be purchased easily by visiting the Visit Fort Collins office in Old Town or Maxline Brewing located off of the Mason Trail.

Fort Collins is a great place to explore by bike, and while the new Pace Fort Collins has helped expand the availability of bikes over the city, there are still places that would benefit from having stations just a hop, skip and a jump away. If your organization is passionate about sponsoring a Bike Share station, please email us at info@bikefortcollins.org.

Not interested in sponsoring but want to get more involved? No problem! Consider purchasing ride time for your employees, participating in digital campaigns, attending local Pace Fort Collins events, holding a Bike Share 101 demo at your office, hosting a group ride or initiating a Bike Share wellness incentive program. Have other ideas? Feel free to email us at info@bikefortcollins.org. We love and appreciate all bike questions!

So, what’s next? In the coming weeks we have several local events to increase excitement and ridership of the new Pace Fort Collins. We hope to see you at one of the events listed below, or would love to have you volunteer with us to help spread the word (and get some free ride time so you can have your own fun in the sun on two-wheels)!

Events happening soon include…

Fiesta de Movimiento Comunitario de Hickory Street

When: June 16

Time: 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.

Where: Soft Gold Park, 520 Hickory Street

Why: Celebrating the new Hickory Pace Fort Collins station sponsored by Kaiser Permanente

Bike to Work Day

When: June 27

Time: 6:30 – 9:30 a.m.

Where: Stations will be all over Fort Collins and Bike Fort Collins will be partnering with Create Places at the Lyric Cinema, at 1209 N. College Ave., to serve tamales to hungry cyclists!

Why: Celebrating biking to work and the option to use Pace Fort Collins to get there!

Bike from Work Bash

When: June 27

Time: 4-7pm

Where: Odell Brewing, 800 E Lincoln Ave.

Why: Enter to win a free bike and other prizes. All proceeds from the drawing support the many programs of Bike Fort Collins! Enjoy the music and beer.

How to enter? Tickets to enter will be available at the door.

more bikes • safe streets • one voice

BFC-Vision-Mission

 

BFC  had an eventful night at RioSwap last night. By appearance, it was the best attended RioSwap by a solid margin.

In addition to the usual margs and bike parts, this year added trainer races (Courtesy of Gold Bike Friendly Business Source Endurance Center of the Rockies) and a live broadcast of The Bikes and Beer Radio Show.

IT was also BFC’s opportunity to talk about our new look and new vision publicly for the first time. I’ve been using the language for a while, because I think its an easy way to explain Bike fort Collins. Its an elevator pitch if you will.

 

The gist is this:

  • While infrastructure is critical, its wasted if it goes unused, and also probably counter productive.

 

  • Reciprocally, encouraging “interested but concerned” cyclists to take the leap is much harder without safe streets and progressive community attitudes about sustainable transportation to support them.

 

  • While a thriving, possibly even sprawling, bike community is an enviable situation for most communities, with scale comes the challenge of uniting and engaging and educating ALL cyclists about our shared challenges.   and presenting a unified voice to governments and businesses who influence the way our community grows.

 

So I’ve come to think of advocacy and community development as something of a feedback loop.    If we work to get more people on bikes, we have a bigger community to engage and activate to do the work, and together we can effect change to the way we think about and plan our shared public roads and spaces.   And this, in turn, helps us get more people on bikes.

 

Neat, huh?

 

The best part is, it distills to 6 simple words

 

More Bikes, Safe Streets, One Voice.

 

And thats our vision.

 

Over the next few weeks we’ll be rolling out a number of announcement about programs and events.  Some new, some expanded, some old favorites we’re bringing back.

The first major news is that starting today, bikefortcollins.org will host an ambitious new blog dedicated to sharing news about everything that’s going on in NoCo cycling, with the goal of creating a more engaged, informed bike community. Topics will range from infrastructure to events to advocacy to project updates and closures and more. And we’ll be updating it twice a week. I am tremendously proud of the lineup, which includes contributions from the Bicycle Advisory Committee, the FC Bike Co-op, Overland Mountain Bike Club, FC Bikes/City of Fort Collins, Your Group Ride, Pedal Fort Collins, FC Bike Share and more.   We have a stable of regular contributors and plans for special guests from time to time a well.  This blog will covering everything from racing to advocacy to city policy to trail conditions to current events affecting NoCo Cyclists.     The blog will be updated twice a week.

 


 

 

So here’s where you come in.   BFC has committees and programs that are doing great work, and the programs we’re announcing over the coming weeks that will balance our advocacy and shape our city.   We need everyone who rides a bike, or even cares about someone who rides a bike, or even just cares about sustainable transportation and a healthy future for Fort Collins to join us.

 

Theres a tab up top that says “Support”,  There’s so many ways to support us.

  • Become a member
  • Become a volunteer
  • Become a donor
  • Join our Bike Friendly Business network
  • Join a committee
  • Subscribe to our newsletter
  • Follow us on social media.

Being recognized as a Platinum Bike Friendly Community is an acknowledgement that Fort Collins takes cycling seriously.

Now, our responsibility, as a bike community and as a city, is to make sure that as we continue to grow and change, everyone in Northern Colorado has access and resources to choose bikes and other sustainable transportation, can make  informed transportation decisions, and enjoy safe streets.   We must use our platform to develop new programs, that lead lead the way for other cities  to make the shift to putting people first in their communities.

Join us today.

We Bike Fort Collins

BFC-LOGO-CLASSIC-2016