Bikes and the Budget



Over at Pedal Fort Collins, our partner and contributor Meg Dunn has written a great article about the City’s upcoming budget process, which they call “Budgeting for Outcomes”.

I encourage you to check it out and to follow her blog for a deeper dive, but the short version is the city breaks down budget conversations into 7 categories, one of which is transportation.

Even outside of transportation there are other offers and issues that affect road safety and which we would like to see prioritized.  But as a start, I want to share a short list of offers that are up for consideration, to be either supported or not supported by council this fall.

at YGR Live on July 28th, we’ll be featuring a guest from the city who can answer question and advise us how to make our voice heard in the process.  BFC will be sending out a poll in our August newsletter that will inform our recommendation to council.

Heres the transportation budget offer document:  its a pretty heavy lift

Here’s the home page for the BFO process

And here’s a shortlist of some standout items:


Outcome Area:  Transportation

1.7 – ENHANCEMENT: Pedestrian Sidewalk – ADA

3.10 – ENHANCEMENT: Protected Intersection Pilot Project

3.11 – ENHANCEMENT: Bicycle Infrastructure .

3.12 – ENHANCEMENT: FC Walks Program 

3.18 – Ongoing: Safe Routes to School Program – KFCG OT

3.19 – KFCG ENHANCEMENT: All Kids Need Safe Routes to School-KFCG OT

3.20 – Ongoing:  FC Bikes – KFCG OT

3.22 – ENHANCEMENT: Bicycle Safety and Promotion Programs

3.23 – ENHANCEMENT: Travel Behavior Survey

3.4 – ENHANCEMENT:  CCIP Bicycle Infrastructure

3.7 – ENHANCEMENT: Low Stress Bike Route Design and Construction

3.9 – ENHANCEMENT: Protected Bike Lane Pilot Project

60.10 – KFCG ENHANCEMENT: KFCG SMP Concrete: ADA-Safe Routes to Everywhere Compliance 

67.1 – Transit Local Fixed Route Network

67.5 – Dial-A-Ride Service

67.6 – Transfort Capital Repair and Replacement

67.7 – KFCG ENHANCEMENT: Colorado State University Football Game-day Transit Service

67.8 – KFCG ENHANCEMENT: Downtown Transit Shuttle Linking the Lincoln Corridor, Downtown and CSU’s Main Campus and 2.0 FTE Bus Operators

67.10 – KFCG ENHANCEMENT:  North College Corridor Transit and 1.0 FTE Bus Operator

67.11 – KFCG ENHANCEMENT:  Transfort Sunday Service and 7.5 FTE Support Staff for the Service

73.3 – KFCG ENHANCEMENT: Parking Capital Equipment


1.4 – ENHANCEMENT: Riverside Bridge at Spring Creek Replacement

1.6 – KFCG ENHANCEMENT: Lemay Realignment and Railroad Crossing Improvements Project – KFCG OT

1.8 – ENHANCEMENT: Willow Street – River District Construction – Final Design

1.9 – ENHANCEMENT: Poudre River Bridge to 1st Street Construction (Phase II of Lincoln Avenue Improvements)

1.11 – ENHANCEMENT: Railroad Crossing Maintenance  



3.5 – ENHANCEMENT: 1.0 FTE Active Transportation Planner

3.6 – ENHANCEMENT: West Elizabeth Enhanced Travel Corridor (ETC) Implementation

3.13 – KFCG ENHANCEMENT: Prospect Road Enhanced Travel Corridor Plan-KFCG OT

3.14 – ENHANCEMENT: North College/Mountain Vista Enhanced Travel Corridor Plan-KFCG OT



60.5 – Planning, Development & Transportation (PDT) Work for Others


63.1 – Neighborhood Traffic Mitigation Program

63.2 – ENHANCEMENT:Traffic Calming Program Expansion

Need A Bike? Earn A Bike!




Living in Fort Collins affords almost everyone the luxury of traveling by bicycle pretty much all the time. Unfortunately, not everyone in Fort Collins can afford the luxury of owning a bicycle. This is where the Fort Collins Bike Co-op’s most well-known and beloved program, Earn-A-Bike, comes into play. The Earn-A-Bike program gives anyone and everyone the opportunity to earn a bicycle, simply by picking up an application at the Bike Co-op and doing a little volunteer work out in the community. All you need is a photo ID and a little initiative.


So how does this awesome program work? It’s easy! Just come to the Bike Co-op during Open Shop hours (Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays 2-5pm and Sundays 12-6pm) and ask for an application. We’ll take a few minutes to go over the application with you to make sure you understand how the program works, then you’re off to volunteer! Applications are limited -due to our capacity for building bikes, we can only give out 15 Earn-A-Bike applications per month- so we recommend you come by early in the month to pick one up. You need to show us your photo ID when you pick up the application, and then you can go volunteer at any local non-profit, except for the Bike Co-op, to get your hours done. You need to volunteer for 20 hours to earn a bike, or 10 hours if you are referred to us through a social services program or counselor.


Some frequently asked questions:

Q: Who is eligible for the program?

A: Everyone! Anyone can earn a bike through our program; all you need is a valid photo ID.


Q: What kind of bike will I get?

A: Your bike will be a mountain bike. We will build it specifically for you so that it fits you and we’ll have you test ride it when you come to pick it up. Due to supply and demand, we are not able to accommodate any requests for other kinds/styles of bike.


Q: Why can’t I volunteer at the Bike Co-op for my bike?

A: The Earn-A-Bike program is the Bike Co-op’s way of spreading the volunteer wealth back into the community, so we do not allow Earn-A-Bike candidates to volunteer at the Bike Co-op for their bike. You are welcome to volunteer with us otherwise…but it won’t count towards your Earn A Bike.


Q: How do I get referred through a social services program or counselor?

A: If you are working with a social services program, such as the Murphy Center, Summitstone, Catholic Charities, the Mission or another group, ask them to write you a letter on their letterhead stating that you need a bike for transportation. Bring the letter with you when you pick up your application and you have to volunteer only 10 hours.


Q: Where can I volunteer?

A: You can volunteer at any registered non-profit. We can provide you with a list of local non-profits if you’re not sure where to go.


Q: My friend needs to earn a bike. Can I pick up an application for them?

A: Unfortunately, no. Your friend needs to come in and pick up their own application.


Q: What if you run out of applications?

A: This does happen from time to time. We’ll have more applications available the next month and suggest coming in on the first day that we are open of that month so that you can ensure you get an application.


Q: I have a question that isn’t covered here.

A: Great! Send it to me at and I’ll get back to you as soon as I can. Alternately, call us during Open Shop at 970-484-3804 and ask to talk to me or Justin. We’re happy to answer any questions.


We’re really grateful to work in such a vibrant cycling community. Few such places exist where the generosity of the public is so significant that we are able to give bikes away in exchange for some volunteer work in our community. All of the Earn-A-Bikes we give out are reconditioned donations that have been built up to ready-to-ride condition by our mechanics and are inspected by the Earn-A-Bike program’s head mechanic before they are given out. We do everything we can to ensure we are giving out bikes that are safe and functional and that fit their riders.

Giving out Earn-A-Bikes is my favorite part of my job; program candidates are unfailingly grateful and kind, and are often thrilled with the bikes we build for them. One gentleman was so excited he wrote us a thank you note, which reads:

Today 5/6/16 I reached my goal of once again owning a “bike”. And the possibility of that could of only happened with the awesome love of neighbors and community only offered by the “Bicycle Co-op”. Thank you for life.”

When we received that note as well as hugs from its sender, it was one of those moments that firmly demonstrated the importance of Building Community Through Bicycling.

July Letter from the Executive Director – Join the Ride


Well everybody, we did it.

In May and June alone, we  hosted or supported: the Ride of Silence, The One Speed Open, our Bike Art Show, Ride the Rockies, Bike to Work Day, a Bicycle Friendly Business Development workshop, two installments of YGR Live, and kicked off our Bikes & Biz mixer series. That is on top of our regular programming which includes our great new blog, Safe Routes to School, and running and growing the new Fort Collins Bike Share. And that’s just the event side.

We’re also hard at work building capacity and networks to address the emerging transportation and health challenges that Northern Colorado’s rapid growth presents. We’re examining  attitudes and policies and developing positions surrounding land use, development, and planning to make sure that Fort Collins honors our climate action plan and extends our commitment to safer streets to EVERYONE in NoCo.

The third piece of BFC’s vision, “one voice,” means a lot of things: it means we work hard to create a coalition of people who have different connections to bikes and active, sustainable transportation (you, dear reader), and rally you  around our shared challenges.  It means we work hard to figure out who is riding, and why, and where and how we can make them safer.  And- just as importantly- we look at who ISN’T riding, and why, and where and what we can do to make sustainable transportation a more viable option. It means we need everyone to support this vision of safer streets and more people on bikes.

At this point, I’m getting dizzy just thinking about it, but also really giddy thinking about the opportunities we have here and now, to not just advocate, not just react but actually positioning Bike Fort Collins to inform and create the policies and culture that will affect the region for generations to come.


So here’s the thing:

We  really need your help.  

There are three major ways you can support our vision of more bikes, safe streets, one voice:  resources, time and messaging.


We pride ourselves on being really efficient with our supporters’ resources.  If we can do it in house, we will.  That goes for design, event coordination, website and anything else you can think of that we can learn or fake. We take your financial support very seriously. Keeping the rubber on the road requires money for staff, operational space (office and warehouse), travel, technology, and more.  Our programs all have distinct operational needs including materials (Safe Routes to School would look great in a Sprinter Van), and sponsorship for our events and our Bike Share. If you support our vision, you can show that support by clicking on the Join Bike Fort Collins button to the right, by becoming a donor, or by dropping me a line to talk about other opportunities.


The great thing about being an event volunteer for Bike Fort Collins is that we support and put on fun events. You’re outside, surrounded by other people who love bikes, helping spread bike love, and serving the community. In addition to event volunteers, most of our organizational work is done by volunteer committees. Our marketing/communications, resource development, and advocacy committees, as well as our board of directors and our bike friendly business team meet monthly to steer the operation of Bike Fort Collins. We’re always looking for talented, passionate volunteers to join our committee work.


The “safe streets” piece of the vision has a couple of components- changing actual infrastructure through policy, and changing attitudes and perceptions among the general public about why bikes and sustainable transportation matter. There are many myths about bike advocacy and our goals and agenda but the reality is- shifting public mindset away from “cars and convenience at any cost” to building communities around people and around access will not only save lives, it will lead to a NoCo that is healthier and and more livable and economically robust for everyone.  Through our blog and social media and live events, we explore and share this position, and provide our supporters the tools to be agents of change in your personal environments.  In your schools. neighborhoods, churches, workplaces, and other community groups, you can promote reshaping our culture, and we are working to provide you the tools to do it.

For me, “one voice” is more than just part of a catchy slogan.  It’s the heart of what we do.  Bikes are so powerful and so important precisely because they are so versatile, and because they mean different things to people who enjoy them and and depend on them to connect with our community. Only by working together can we push forward, a make sure that as Northern Colorado grows, it continues to prioritize safe streets for all users.

What’s more, we like to show our gratitude to our members and partners.  Wednesday the 13th, we’re hosting another Community Night at Pour Brother’s Community Tavern. If you checked out our December Community Night, you know the basics: your tips between 6 and 8 pm are a donation to BFC (so tip big!).  This time we have an added draw:  as a show of gratitude, we’re buying the first round for our current members and Bicycle Friendly Businesses.

This month the Community Night celebrity bartenders are Corkey Odell of Odell Brewing, and Bryan Simpson of New Belgium, and we’ll be setting up battling tip jars so you can help decide the Battle of the Breweries with your tips!

We have even more exciting announcements to come, and continue to work hard towards our vision of more bikes, safe streets and one voice.   And we’re grateful for your support.



Chris J. Johnson

Executive Director

Bike Fort Collins