In October 2013, the city began the process of developing a new Bicycle Master Plan for Fort Collins — a plan that would reflect extensive public engagement, data analysis and best practices for achieving a worldclass bicycling city As city staff gear up to present the final draft plan to City Council Tuesday, the plan is an innovative, yet strategic and context-appropriate approach that will provide Fort Collins residents and visitors, whether age 8 or 80, the opportunity to utilize the bicycle as a safe, healthy and affordable means of traveling around town.
The plan sets a vision for the year 2020, when 20 percent of the Fort Collins population will travel primarily by bicycle and when bicycle- related crashes will be fewer than today.
A 162-mile, low-stress network will provide the framework for achieving this vision.
This network, which leverages existing low-speed and low-volume streets and existing and planned trail connections, will include upgraded bicycle lanes, intersection improvements to help people navigate across arterial streets, a system of bicycle wayfinding that directs people to this network and to destinations around town, and a series of protected bike lane pilot projects on key arterial streets.
Supporting the bicycle network recommendations, the plan suggests key bicycle policy changes that would further support a bicycle-friendly environment, along with a comprehensive set of bicycle programs implemented through strong partnerships across the community.
The plan proposes an implementation approach for completing projects identified in the 2020 low-stress network, which includes anticipated phasing and funding strategies.
The phasing of projects considered a number of factors, including safety, bicycle demand, public input and geographic equity, and is also tied to other project opportunities.
The phasing of projects is subject to change as opportunities come up and according to funding availability.
According to the 2014 Bicycle Master Plan, by 2020 more than 80 percent of the Fort Collins population will live within one quarter-mile of a low-stress bicycle route, connecting them to schools, transit, areas of employment and other community destinations.
Bicycle racks will be readily available to serve the increased bicycle demand, and a system of publicly available bicycles will provide one more option for people to easily travel on two wheels.
With more people expected to ride bicycles in the coming years, the city’s proposed approach to bicycle- related education and outreach — implemented through community organizations, schools, businesses and city government — will foster a culture of respect, responsibility and awareness for all transportation system users when on public streets and trails.
The Fort Collins City Council will consider adoption of the 2014 Bicycle Master Plan this Tuesday.
The meeting will be held at 6 p.m. in Council Chambers at City Hall West, 300 LaPorte Ave.
Information regarding the 2014 Bicycle Master Plan is available at www.fcgov.com/bikeplan.
Tessa Greegor is the FC Bikes program manager, a Bicycle Ambassador (www.bicycleambassadorprogram .org) and a League Cycling instructor.