[We know theres some confusion out there about the difference between Bike Fort Collins, FC Bikes, and the Fort Collins Bike Co-op, and we’re workin’ on clarifying, but all three groups are critical partners in the sustainable transportation movement in Northern Colorado and we at BFC are excited to add FC Bikes- the City of Fort Collins’ Bicycling program- to our growing list of blog contributors. FC Bikes staff will chime in here every month to keep everyone in the loop about upcoming projects, events, closures and more. -ED]
Vision: No Need for a Car to Travel in Fort Collins
Imagine a Fort Collins where you can easily and seamlessly get to where you need to go without using a motor vehicle. You hop on the bus near your house, and then you pedal a ways on a bike share bike and then walk a short distance to your final destination. You do all this with ease and confidence because the systems and infrastructure in the city support it. We are making progress toward making this vision a reality with a number of initiatives the City’s FC Bikes Program is implementing this year.
Below are a few highlights of the projects currently underway. Find out more about all of the FC Bikes initiatives at the first annual Bike Projects Fair on Wed., April 13, 5:30-7:30pm. The Fair will be held at the Fort Collins Museum of Discovery.
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Creating Connections with Bike Share
Starting April 1 Fort Collins will have a self-service automated bike share system thanks to collaboration between the City, Bike Fort Collins, Zagster, and community partners. Building on the success of the Bike Library, this exciting new system will allow you to check out a bike and use it for trips around town, complemented by a local community cycling hub and in-person customer service at the Downtown Transit Center. Bike share is an important component of a robust public transportation system because it expands the possibilities for connecting people to the places where they live, work and play as well as to other transportation options.
Fort Collins Bike Share is scheduled to launch with 16 stations in key locations. The City is celebrating the launch with a ribbon cutting ceremony at Noon on April 1 at the Downtown Transit Center followed by a short ride to view stations (bring your bike and helmet!) . In addition, a celebration will take place in Old Town Square that evening from 5pm-7pm. Bike Share Staff, FC Bikes Staff and FC Bikes Bicycle Ambassadors will be available around town throughout the day to answer questions about the system. www.fcgov.com/bikeshare
Safe Routes That Are Easy to Navigate
The 2014 Bicycle Master Plan proposed a Low-Stress Bicycle Network to provide users safe and comfortable routes for traveling by bike. FC Bikes is working on a number of projects to make progress on building the Low Stress Bicycle Network and ways to navigate it. Here are two examples:
- Pitkin Bikeway Project – an infrastructure project that focuses on upgrades to crossings of major arterials, wayfinding and minor striping changes along Pitkin.
- Bicycle Wayfinding – the city’s bicycle wayfinding system can help people navigate the city’s low-stress bicycle network. The Remington Bikeway, a north-south route, was recently signed with wayfinding signs. A route along Swallow will be signed soon.
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Flipping Bicycle Safety Education on Its Helmet
For years bicycle safety education focused mostly on the cyclist. FC Bikes, in partnership with Bike Fort Collins, recently reframed the traditional bicycle safety educational offering and created a compelling program called the Bicycle Friendly Driver Program. Over 550 people in Fort Collins have been certified as Bicycle Friendly Drivers and are becoming part of a safer cycling community. Find out how to host a class at your business and when public sessions are scheduled. www.fcgov.com/BicycleFriendlyDriver
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Encourage People to Try It!
FC Bikes is bringing Open Streets back to Fort Collins in 2016! Last year Open Streets events drew over 12,000 people who were able to use the streets without motorized traffic present. This freeing and fun experience encourages people to travel distances of everyday trips using their own power. On June 5 you can join the fun. Bring your bike or skates or your two feet and cruise and enjoy the car-free roads. Check out the activity hubs and meet fellow community members along the route while you are there too!
Jamie Gaskill-Fox is a Program Specialist with the City of Fort Collins FC Bikes. She coordinates the Bicycle Ambassador Program and is a League Cycling Instructor.