The following is a summary of this Ride-Around-Town (RAT) Ride organized and led by Bike Fort Collins. RAT rides are open to the public and their purpose is to explore and discuss the strengths and weaknesses in bicycle infrastructure and connectivity in Fort Collins.
- Date: April 19, 2023
- Time: 5:30 p.m.
- BFC Ride Leaders: Dave Dixon & Tim Wooten
- # Attendees: 15
- Start – Equinox Brewing
- Remington Street south, to Pitkin Avenue
- Out-and-back on Pitkin Advisory Bike Lane
- South on Remington to College Avenue underpass
- West on trail underpass to Mason Street/Mason Trail
- North on Mason Street to University Avenue
- West on University Avenue through CSU campus, connecting to bike path to Shields Street underpass at W. Elizabeth Street
- West on W. Elizabeth to Skyline Drive
- North on Skyline Drive to Crestmore Plaxce
- Northwest on Crestmore Place to Mulberry Street
- East on Mulberry, jogging onto Jackson Avenue in order to get to eastbound Magnolia Street
- East on Magnolia Street to Loomis Avenue
- North on Loomis Avenue, jogging onto Elm Street in order to get to northbound Wood Street
- North on Wood Street to the Poudre Trail
- East on the Poudre Trail to Linden Street
- South on Linden Street to Walnut Street (in Old Town Square)
- Southeast on Walnut Street to Mountain Avenue
- West on Mountain Avenue to Remington Street
- South on Remington Stree back to Equinox Brewery
Notes & Observations
Our first RAT Ride of the year coincided with the ThinkBike Workshop hosted by FC Moves this week. As such, we were fortunate to be joined by the Dutch mobility experts from Mobycon, Goudappel, the Dutch Cycling Embassy, as well as a Federal Highway Administration representative who were all in town for the workshop. Given this, the ride had a little different route than typical, as we decided to do some show-n-tell for our out-of-town guests, mostly showcasing some of our newer infrastructure over the last few years.
The first stop was the city’s first Advisory Bike Lane which opened in August of 2022 on Pitkin Avenue (on the Pitkin Bikeway) between Remington and Smith Streets, just east of the CSU campus. Cortney Geary with FC Moves provided an overview of its experimental nature and how the design came to be. After gathering and watching traffic, with Advisory Bike Lanes as a very common road design in the Netherlands, the Dutch representatives provided some thoughts and suggestions to consider as part of future improvements to increase the lane’s intended use, like narrowing the vehichle travel lane, offsetting the crown of the street, adding texture to the parking lane to better delineate it from the bike lane, and even adding curb extensions as you enter the Advisory Lane.
Next, we headed through the CSU campus via the low-stress bike network, under Shields via the Shields Street underpass to the W. Elizabeth HAWK (High-Intensity Activated crossWalK beacon) crossing. Here we discussed the plans for the corridor and the planned addition of BRT, as well as protetcted bike lanes and at least one protected intersection. We also discussed the challenge the underpass creates, given its orientation to the south side of Elizabeth, and getting bikes (and pedestrians) back to the north side of Elizabeth in order to get back in the westbound bike lane.
From W. Elizabeth we headed up to Mulberry to experience the protected bike lanes, on our way to new Magnolia and Shields Toucan crossing. Finally we made our way back to Equinox Brewery, where the ride began, by way of stairstepping through the neighborhood, using the new(er) bicycle/ped signal at Loomis and LaPorte, ultimately at connecting to the Poudre Trail at Wood Street so our visitors could experience our trail network too.
While this ride summary focuses on how conditions and rider safety could be improved, we also need to remember current conditions in Fort Collins are far better than those in most communities. Improvements suggested here are opportunities to increase our overall bicycling infrastructure.
We are grateful to everyone who participated this RAT Ride. Join us again for more RAT Rides to follow! Watch our social channels and e-Newsletter for registration details. Your voice matters!