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: August 17, 2022
- Time: 5:30 p.m.
- BFC Ride Leaders: Bruce Henderson, Dave Dixon, Tim Wooten
- # Attendees: XX
- Start – Intersect Brewing
- Hampshire south, across Drake, to Spring Creek Trail.
- East on the trail, to Hanover, then to Dunbar crossing Drake (Walk and Wheel Hub).
- North on Constitution, west on Stuart to Taft Hill Rd.
- South on Taft Hill Rd using sidewalk, west across Taft Hill Rd using Blevins crosswalk light.
- West on Blevins Park Trail to Hampshire, west on Stuart to Yorkshire, southwest on Yorkshire to Overland Trail Rd.
- North on Overland Trail Rd across Drake. Continue north to Stuart. East on Stuart to Hampshire. South on Hampshire returning to Intersect Brewing.
Notes & Observations
The bullets below summarize observations that took place along the ride and/or after the ride during a post ride discussion:
- The Hampshire crossing of Drake was funded through a grant from the Colorado Department of Transportation’s Safe Routes to School program. It now provides a way for students from Blevins Middle School and Olander Elementary to safely cross this major arterial.
- The Bike box on southbound Hampshire was a new experience for some riders. It received positive comments and acceptance, helping people feel more comfortable with that crossing of Drake.
- Walk and Wheel Skill Hub. It is designed to provide a safe bicycling and walking learning environment for people of all ages and abilities, with the goal of improving safety and increasing bicycling and walking.
- This miniature city was funded and is maintained by the city of Fort Collins, primarily for use in the SRTS program.
- Stuart currently provides no pedestrian or bicyclist support for crossing of Taft Hill Rd. We rode south along the Taft Hill Rd sidewalk (east side) to use the Blevins signalized crosswalk (Hawk signal). Our group had concerns about our south contraflow ride along Taft Hill Rd to use this Blevins crossing.
- There were also many concerns about our crossing of Taft Hill Rd, which was perceived to be uncontrolled due to the small walk lights, traffic on Taft Hill and the offset of Stuart. This concern pertained to both individual riders and groups.
- There was general support for some type of controlled signalized crossing of Taft Hill Rd using Stuart. West Stuart has well maintained wide bike lanes from Overland Trail to Shields, with the only interruption being the offset crossing of Taft Hill.
- A project to improve Stuart (providing a two-way sidepath and signal for crossing Taft) has been carried forward from the 2014 Fort Collins Active Modes plan to the new proposed Active Modes plan. We are asking all individuals from this RAT Ride and our BFC supporters to provide feedback here to keep these Stuart improvements in the new plan, while the feedback period is still open.
- Additionally we encourage everyone to request higher priority and earlier implementation of the improvements.
- Heading north on Overland Trail across Drake we utilized the newer green bike lane paint on Overland Trail. BFC advocated for this improvement to provide an increased level of visibility to motorists headed south from Overland Trail and those turning right from westbound Drake. The result being increased safety for cyclists riding north on Overland Trail across Drake.
- Some of our riders were concerned about southbound (Overland Trail) vehicles not stopping for cyclists headed north. There is signage on Overland reminding northbound motorists they do not have right of way and most do seem to follow the ‘rules’. Is more motorist education and/or signage required?
- Sidewalk riding is uncomfortable. Better or more guidance on the Fort Collins sidewalk riding rules should be made available to cyclists.
- In all 3 signalized intersections we crossed through, the group was automatically detected and provided a longer time to cross (seems like 30 seconds). This is a welcome safety feature for cyclists in our community.
- In general southwest Fort Collins has a more cycling friendly infrastructure (street and bike lane layout) than other portions of our city. This reduces the necessity to add as many cycling safety improvements as in other parts or Fort Collins.
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 in 2023 for more RAT Rides to follow! Watch our social channels and e-Newsletter for registration details. Your voice matters!