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: October 19, 2022
- Time: 5:30 p.m.
- BFC Ride Leaders: Bruce Henderson,
Dave Dixon, Tim Wooten
- # Attendees: 6
- Start – Black Bottle Brewing
- Mason Trail south, to Spring Creek Trail west, to Centre St. north.
- Stopped at the location of the new CSU Phemister Trail off Centre (Coming Soon).
- Continued north on Centre using Prospect underpass to Lake St. on campus.
- East to Lake to Mason Trail north to Pitkin east.
- Tried out the new Pitkin St. Advisory Bike Lanes (from Remington to Smith) out and back.
- Turning left from Pitkin Advisory Bike Lane on to Remington. Continued south to Stuart, turning east. Entered the Spring Creek trail and continued west back to Remington St.
- Crossed Remington St., then used bike trails from Spring Creek Park north returning to Black Bottle Brewing. Had a nice wrap up discussion at Black Bottle Brewing.
Notes & Observations
The bullets below summarize observations that took place along the ride and/or after the ride during a post ride discussion:
- Stopped on Centre Ave. north of the Spring Creek Trail to visualize the new Phemister Trail extension planned for 2023.
- At the intersection of Centre Ave and Lake St. there are stop signs and crosswalks guiding cyclists across Lake. However, these crosswalks can lead to cyclist movements that motorists do not expect. This intersection would benefit from a full design, potentially a roundabout if the space exists.
- Fort Collins continues in the forefront of bicycling amenities and infrastructure as only the second city in Colorado to provide an Advisory Bike Lane. Opened on Oct. 9, 2022 this new road layout provides bike lanes on a section of east Pitkin St. which would otherwise be too narrow to accommodate them. A single center lane is designated for two-way motor vehicle traffic with dashed bicycle lanes on each side. In this section of road bicyclists have priority over motorists.
- This section of Pitkin is signed and painted. The addition of signage before
Remington and Smith announcing that the Advisory Bike Lane is coming would
add to everyone’s understanding.
- The Pitkin Road layout and painted lane designations is easier to understand
than the signage.
- During our ride, around 6:00pm, we saw very few motor vehicles at all on Pitkin and none sharing the center lane. Are vehicles avoiding it? There was a line of traffic on Lake St. turning onto Remington. Or have people just gotten in the habit of not using Pitkin after being closed for so long. Pitkin will take some adjustment time before catching on. This is intuitive for cyclists but not for motorists.
- Parking is allowed on the north side of Pitkin between Remington and Smith. Will this provide a hazardous line of site issue for bicyclists and motorists as well?
- Overall, the Advisory Bike Lane concept has resulted in a very low accident rate nationwide. According to an Alta Planning and Design white paper, there has been only one reported crash and that involved an illegally parked car.
- Turning left from Pitkin to Remington demonstrated the need for some type of marked guidance. If bicyclists take the lane on an Advisory Bike Lane, they are effectively blocking both lanes of traffic. Dashed lines or some other form of guidance would be helpful.
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!