For this year’s International Women’s Day we recognize Betty Sears and her trailblazing initiative to establish the first bike lanes in Fort Collins. Sears was inspired to bring bike lanes to Fort Collins after living briefly in Davis, California. While in Davis, Sears experienced the benefits of bicycle infrastructure and was inspired to bring these innovations home to Colorado. A self described “radical environmentalist”, Sears envisioned a more bicycle friendly Fort Collins with the intention of “decreasing traffic congestion and reducing bicycle-car collisions”. 

Sears’ daughter, Karyl, affectionately recollects her mother’s commitment, devotion and tenacity to many environmental causes during her childhood. A mother of two, here we see Sears with her young children after a petitioning campaign in August of 1970. Gaining over 1,700 supporters, Betty Sears was successful in convincing the city of Fort Collins to install our town’s very first bike lanes.

Today we celebrate Betty Sears and her vision for the Fort Collins we know and love today. 

photo credit: Fort Collins Museum of Discovery Archives