HAVE YOU EXPERIENCED CONFLICT?

In our August issue of The Pedal Post (eNewsletter), Bike Fort Collins posed the question: “Have you experienced conflict, or right-of-way confusion at the intersection of Elizabeth Street and College Ave while riding your bike?”

Thank you to those who responded. Below is a recap of the results.

WHAT HAPPENED?

In addition, for those who reported conflict, we asked them to describe their experience. Here is a sampling of the responses we received:

  • Recently, a driver going southbound on college ran the very red light while my wife, 5yo son and i was crossing on bikes. We all were almost taken out. I have had previous conflicts/confusion as to how to best navigate this intersection.
  • “Since the crosswalk on College takes you to the northwest side of Elizabeth, you have immediately cross the street to get into the bike lane to head east on Elizabeth. I’ve had cars honk at me because it appears, while waiting on the corner to cross, that I’ve been riding my bike on the wrong side of College because of the location of the crosswalk”
  • I’ve lived in town since the early 90s and typically avoid crossing this intersection whether on my bike or walking. It’s not obvious how to cross safely with traffic flow – cars vs pedestrians.”
  • This intersection is dangerous. It connects into CSU’s Gold Trail making for convenient access onto campus except the intersection does not have an eastbound crosswalk on the south side of the intersection. This reality forces the bicyclist to ride contraflow against through the crosswalk on the north side and then attempt to cross to the eastbound bikelane. Or, some will risk a barn dance and ride diagonally in front of the southbound turning vehicles to get in the appropriate lane

HOW CAN IT BE IMPROVED?

Finally, we asked respondents how they thought the intersection/facility could be improved. Here is a sampling of the responses we received:

  • “Better visibility for bikes crossing college is needed. Allow a crossing from west to east that caters to bikes that continue eastbound on elizabeth without doing an odd crossing of E Elizabath. Give more priority to bikes and peds by making a strong decision/associated change in light timing and visibility. Barnes dance/scramble style could be great. Again, I’d like to see the priority put on the safety and needs of bikes/peds here vs. the conversation going to “vehicle throughput on college”. Separated grade crossing would be ideal. Thanks!
  •  I was told by a streets engineer that there could not be a crossing on the south side of Elizabeth due to ADA considerations and grading ( when I asked about it at a biking improvement meeting a couple years ago.). When I went back and looked I could see what she was referring to. HOWEVER, I wonder if having an all way crossing time for pedestrians and bicyclists, like they have in Estes Park on the summer (and for that matter several places in Tokyo) would help the situation.
  • A bike/pedestrian crossing light with a marked lane from campus to the southeast corner.” 
  • Either there must be another cross walk that connects the west side of college to the south side of Elizabeth, or, the light and crosswalk pattern must be changed to stop all cars and allow pedestrians to cross “all ways”, or specifically to both the north and south sides of Elizabeth. This “all ways” strategy has had plenty of success around the world and is actually much safer for both pedestrians and cyclists. A link to an example HERE
  • Yes, a parallel crosswalk could be installed with receiving curb ramps on both sides of College. The Green trail could be forked to allow eastbound bikes and peds access to the new curb ramp and cross walk. The City has used the excuse they don’t want a crosswalk on the southside because of the southbound turning vehicles. I don’t believe we should be prioritizing this left over the safety of bicyclists and pedestrians as these vehicles using Remington to circumnavigate traffic on College until they can use this light to enter traffic on College. 1-2 cars turning southbound should not have priority. Further, this treatment is already used on College Avenue near Jax where Conifer “T’s” into College. This intersection has parallel crosswalks, why doesn’t the E.Elizabeth intersection where thousands of students could safely cross College and be encouraged to ride their bicycle? View HERE

Again, thank you to all who responded—and for sharing their experiences. Stay tuned for additional surveys inquiring about other intersections and bicycle facilities.