Bike Fort Collins is excited for and optimistic about 2021. With the year already underway, BFC will continue to deliver instruction for the Safe Routes to School program, as in-person learning resumes across Poudre School District (PSD). We also have an ambitious plan for our additional focuses and agenda for the year as we emerge from the uncertainty of the past year.
The League of American Bicyclists has aptly created what it calls the five E’s, as it relates to building the most bicycle friendly community possible. This year, BFC has aligned its programs and bicycle advocacy efforts across these five E’s to better synthesize the work we are doing, and in an effort to ensure we are balanced in moving the needle on each “E” locally and/or regionally.
- Safe Routes to School (SRTS): As mentioned above, and as we have done for the past nine years, BFC will continue working with the City of Fort Collins to deliver Safe Routes to School programming to reach over 7,000 students within PSD. We’ll also continue our efforts to engage in conversations and opportunities (as they arise) to pursue the expansion of the SRTS program to other area communities and/or school districts.
- Intersection-Facility Focus Initiative: Launched in 2020, we were able to highlight four intersections last year representing infrastructure with a potential for road user conflict, particularly among vehicles and bicycles. We initially presented three intersections to the City’s Bicycle Advisory Committee (BAC) and Transportation Board in October and November of last year respectively. In 2021, we’ll continue to highlight an intersection or road facility each month, along with continuing presentations to BAC and/or Transportation Board. Watch our blog, social media and The Pedal Post monthly eNewsletter for more information.
- Paint the Pavement Initiative: In 2020 we introduced the idea of using paint to help improve the safety of intersections, and potentially serve as a traffic calming measure in lieu of costly curb and gutter construction projects. We convened the City departments of FC Moves, Traffic Operations and Art in Public Places with experts from Portland, OR where painted intersections have been used extensively and effectively. With all the appropriate individuals at the table, we’re excited to report a formal process for doing this is under development, and we remain optimistic to see the first Fort Collins intersection painted in 2021.
- New Highway Road Signage Initiative: We are continuing the effort (begun in 2019) to get new, more communicative road signage posted on Highways 14 and 34, as well as throughout area county roads. We also envision the creation and deployment of (following the pursuit and awarding of funding) an awareness campaign to make the community more aware of these signs so that they can 1) be on the lookout for them and 2) be more apt to follow their message….and the law.
- Bike Park Initiative: We’ll be partnering with our peer, the Overland Mountain Bike Association (OMBA), to support an effort they initiated to bring an official Bike Park to Fort Collins. Surveys associated with the 2020 Parks & Recreation Master Planning process put a Bike Park and its elements as one of the top four desired focuses by the community. OMBA has conceptualized a comprehensive plan to construct a Bike Park in the Old Town/Lee Martinez Park/Legacy Park area. Watch our blog, social media and The Pedal Post monthly eNewsletter for more information as this effort progresses.
- Singletrack Sidewalks Initiative: Bike Fort Collins also plans to partner with OMBA to begin to help close gaps between mountain bike trailheads and the City’s bike trails, bikeways and low stress bike network, better enabling safer community access to mountain biking while alleviating congestion at trailhead parking lots. There are also opportunities to formalize the singletrack social trails that have formed around the city to make them part of the advertised Fort Collins bicycle trail network. Finally, there’s opportunity to evolve the singletrack social trails that have developed parallel to our current paved bike trails with a more robust singletrack trail system, making commuting to work or school that much more enticing, while also better enabling mountain-biking-kids to ride and enjoy trails with their non-mountain-biking-parent(s). Watch our blog, social media and The Pedal Post monthly eNewsletter for more information as this effort progresses.
EQUITY (DIVERSITY & INCLUSION)
- Wish for Wheels FoCo: In 2020, in response to the pandemic and the need to get more kids active due to the sedentary tendencies caused by remote learning, BFC partnered with Wish for Wheels of Denver to produce the inaugural Wish for Wheels FoCo program. Building off the success of 2020, we will strive to meet our goal to fund and distribute 400 bikes and helmets to every second-grader in PSD’s six Title 1 schools.
- Active Living Continuation Efforts: In the spirit of continuing the work we began back in 2016, BFC is working with the Larimer County Department of Health & Environment (LCDHE) to develop materials and resources for the Spanish speaking community to better equip them with information ranging from how to purchase or fix a bike, to where and how to ride to school, parks and/or work safely.
- BFC Book Club: New for 2021, BFC has excitedly launched a new book club. The goal of the book club is to increase engagement among all our constituents while educating and advocating for more bicycling or safe cycling initiatives—hopefully creating more advocates and ambassadors for the BFC mission. To that end, in its inaugural year, each book title in 2021 will be selected with a focus on racial equity, social equity, and transportation equity as it relates to bicycle advocacy and all things bike related.
- Community Rides: BFC will continue to host and/or support rides like the Galentine’s Ride and the Ride for Racial Justice in 2021 in support of bicycle equity and inclusion. Watch our blog, social media and The Pedal Post monthly eNewsletter for more information on community rides.
- Bicycle Friendly Business Renewal/Recruitment: While BFC has played a major role in the recruitment in the accretive number of Bicycle Friendly Businesses (BFBs) over the past five or six years, many are up for renewal this year. BFC is initiating a mentorship program to facilitate these renewals, as well as renew our effort to grow participation in the program. While Fort Collins proudly held the top spot in the country for the number of BFBs, Tampa, FL just passed us last month. All the more reason to up the recruitment and renewal effort. Learn more here and become a BFB today, if you aren’t already.
- City Bicycle Events: Bike to Work Day (BTWD) / Open Streets: BFC will continue to be one of the City’s most staunch supporters, participants and promoters of each of these bi-annual events (presuming COVID-19 gathering restrictions permit) to get more people riding bikes. We’ll also hope to augment the BTWDs with the Bike From Work Bash, that had become the traditional culminating BTWD celebration prior to the pandemic.
- Bike/Walk-to-School Challenge: Bike Fort Collins has presented an incentive/challenge contest to PSD schools to implement on a school-by-school basis, intended to motivate and potentially reward students for riding their bike or walking to school. We’ll be working to get schools to adopt the challenge this spring and/or in fall.
- Community Rides: In addition to the Galentine’s Ride, BFC will host its other rides (virtually and/or in-person) to encourage bicycling, such as Tour de Pie, Ride of Silence and the Turkey Hot Lap Challenge. Watch our blog, social media and The Pedal Post monthly eNewsletter for more information on community rides.
EVALUATION (& PLANNING)
- Community Planning & Leadership Committees: As it has done for years, BFC will continue to serve on the following committees (and any subsequent ad-hoc committees as they develop) in the spirit of influencing and impacting future planning efforts for the city/county/region relative to ensuring the development of a safe and bicycle-friendly community: the City of Fort Collins Bicycle Advisory Committee (BAC), the CSU Campus Bicycle Advisory Committee (CBAC), the Northern Colorado Bike & Ped Collaborative, EnFoCo (Engage Fort Collins), and the Larimer County Built Environment Leadership Team (BELT). Additionally, we are sitting on the steering committee for the regional Active Transportation Plan (ATP) that is being developed by the North Front Range MPO as an update to the 2016 Non-Motorized Plan.
- Ride-Around-Town (RAT) Rides: As social distancing parameters allow, we are anxious to bring back RAT Rides (as a Community Ride option), which are casually paced rides, led by a BFC League Cycling Instructor (LCI) and designed to evaluate different areas across Fort Collins from a bicycle safety lens. We capture ride notes and details from what is observed or identified and forward them on to appropriate parties/entities. Once these rides can return, we also see these rides informing and being additive to our Intersection-Facility Focus Initiative mentioned above under ‘Engineering.’
- Safety Stop Legislation: It is anticipated that SB18-144, the “Safety Stop” bill passed in 2018 that allows cyclists to treat stops signs as yields, but first has to be formally adopted by the local city/municipality, will be up for revision in the 2021 legislative session to simply make it a statewide law—removing the city adoption component. Bike Fort Collins is in support of this legislation and will plan to help promote its passing.
While the above list will certainly keep our plate full this year, we’ll also continue to monitor happenings and activities, staying nimble in order to address additional bicycle advocacy opportunities as they arise or present themselves throughout the year. The essence of our mission is to be the community’s voice for More Bikes. Safe Streets.
As always, thank you in advance for your support. We can’t do this work without it. We humbly ask that you share this agenda with anyone you may know who enjoys riding a bicycle in Fort Collins but may not be aware of the work we do–encourage them to support us, and/or become a member.