June 27th is bike to work day here in Fort Collins. We know what many of you are thinking, “Hey Bike Co-op, isn’t every day bike to work day?” and you’re right, but June 27th is a special bike to work day. There will be tons of businesses with booths setup around town handing out free breakfast to cyclists. Then after work, there are parties at a lot of the breweries in town. You can kind of think of it as your bike commute birthday with wonderful presents. Take a look at this years poster/map to find some stations near you.
If you’re familiar with the Poudre River Trail, you know that there is a large gap between Fort Collins and Windsor. There is a petition making the rounds that proposes to close this gap. If the grant for this project is landed the Poudre trail will be connected between Arapaho Bend Natural Area and River Bluffs Open Space among other things. So, make sure you sign the petition at the following link. Read more here (yourgroupride.com)
The Board of Larimer County Commissioners today announced the 2011 Larimer County Environmental Stewardship Awards. These awards, began in 1995, are given each year to honor the environmental efforts of county residents, businesses and organizations. To date 58 awards have been presented to programs, people and organizations since the program began 17 years ago. Today five more recipients are added. Winning programs are innovative and proactive, and show exceptional effort and concern for stewardship of the environment of Larimer County.
The County’s volunteer-citizen Environmental Advisory Board reviews the nominations and makes recommendations to the Commissioners who determine the recipients.
The Fort Collins Bicycle Co-op, for their comprehensive actions designed to make bicycles and bicycle riders sustainable. These efforts include: bicycle safety education for children, such as the bike rodeo and helmet distribution; repairing and returning refurbished bikes that were abandoned or unclaimed to the community and to Ghana as part of the village bicycle project; recycling the steel, aluminum, and rubber from worn out bikes; and, embracing the principle of sustainability and providing an important example.
Thanks to all the volunteers who make this happen for our community!
The Bike Co-op is proud to announce two Fort Collins screenings of the feature length documentary With My Own Two Wheels. Two Wheels weaves together the stories of five individuals across the globe into a single narrative about the bicycle as a vehicle for change. The documentary was shot on location in Zambia, Ghana, India, Guatemala and California. Each screening will be followed by a question and answer session with the Producer/Co-director of the film Jacob Seigel-Boettner. The screenings will take place at 7:00pm on December 7th and 8th at The Lyric Cinema Cafe. Tickets for each night can be purchased before the event for $10 at the Bike Co-op or The Lyric Cinema Cafe. Tickets will also be available at the door for $15. Seating is limited, so buy your ticket early. Each ticket purchase includes a complimentary New Belgium Beer (For those of legal drinking age). Hey, $10 for a movie and a beer! Just try to find a better deal. All proceeds raised from the two night event will help to support the Fort Collins Bike Co-op and World Bicycle Relief Sponsored by Poudre Valley Health Systems and New Belgium Brewery. Movie Trailer [vimeo 19734902]
By Rick Price, Ph.D. (Rick is the Safe Cycling Coordinator for the Bike Co-op; this column was published in the Fort Collins Coloradoan on January 3, 2011; Rick’s Smart Cycling columns appear the 1st and 3rd Mondays of every month in the Coloradoan) Mia Birk’s book, “Joyride: Pedaling toward a Healthier Planet,” is a how-to manual for creating a first-class bicycle community. Both City Council and city staff would benefit from reading Birk as a way to put Fort Collins even more in the lead in this national movement. Birk recounts a perfect storm of events when she became bicycle coordinator in Portland in 1993. Congress had just funded the first six-year federal transportation package that included a small allocation for “transportation enhancements.” “Enhancements” were meant to fund transit, bicycling and walking facilities as Congress attempted to counter the “roads only” policies of state departments of transportation. This enabled states and cities like Fort Collins and Portland to write bicycle plans and to hire bicycle coordinators. In Portland in 1990, the Bicycle Transportation Alliance, or BTA, had been founded, and was to become one of the most active advocacy groups in the nation. Earl Blumenauer, now Congressman from Oregon’s 3rd Congressional District and founder of the Congressional Bike Caucus, was Portland’s Commissioner of Public Utilities. With Blumenauer’s support and with the backing of the BTA, Birk set out to make Portland, a city of 500,000 people, a friendlier place to ride a bicycle. As she explains in “Joyride,”Birk had a series of revelations during the first years of her job that opened her eyes to the challenges she faced. Despite enjoying great support in the bicycle community, she noted that “if I spend my time preachin’ to the gospel choir, the bicycle revolution isn’t going to spread very far.” Additionally, when Portland’s traffic engineers suggested that rather than stripe bicycle lanes, they get the police to enforce the law to encourage more cyclists, she noted “the police won’t even talk to me (as bicycle coordinator),” let alone enforce the rules of the road to protect cyclists. Another revelation came after her third bike-to-work day,when Birk asked herself, “is this helping to get more people out riding? Is my time best spent running events like his, or working on bikeway projects?” The answer, she found, was that she needed to mobilize the non-bicyclists in town, build bike paths and lanes and to become more of a catalyst in bringing people together to change the culture in order to get reluctant cyclists on their bikes. “It’s not enough to adopt a Bicycle Plan, she wrote, “we’ve got to retrain all the humans involved, both inside and outside government.” So Birk began with neighborhood meetings at Denny’s. Then she met with the Lions Club. Once she was fully under way, she was meeting with “business groups, ethnic groups, neighborhood associations, school groups, churches” and, as she explains it, “pretty much anyone who” would listen in a series of 60 meetings across Portland. The results of Birk’s work are impressive to the degree that “Joyride”should be required reading for anyone who wants to see bicycle ridership double in Fort Collins.
As a result of its community “listening sessions” in April and May, the Co-op submitted the following recommendations to the Bicycle Advisory Committee (BAC) at the May 2010 meeting. We are happy to report that the BAC adopted the recommendations in their entirety and submitted them to City Council! The Bike Co-op held its final listening session Wednesday, May 5th. This meeting served to summarize citizens’ comments made during eight previous sessions held throughout the City and to prioritize action items for referral to City Planners, Transportation Planners and citizen’s boards and commissions. There was unanimous consent to offer the following recommendation: “The community should take steps to improve bicycle safety and efficiency through a comprehensive bicycle safety education program and through enhanced engineering efforts. The education should target motorists, cyclist, K-12 children, and CSU students while the engineering enhancements should include: The creation of bicycle boulevards ( like Vine, Swallow, Stover, Canyon, Stuart, etc.) for efficient long distance movement of bikes between and among “activity centers,” across town and between existing corridors, including the Mason Trail, the Powerline Trail, the Poudre Trail and the Spring Creek Trail; Installation of additional signal actuation devices at stop lights, including the use of default modes to facilitate bicycle travel; The use of sharrows (shared lane arrows) and improved “Share the Road” signs that include the secondary sign “Bikes use full lane.” The group reviewed the list of 120 items from the previous meetings and prioritized seventeen items (in random order): More grade separated crossings at intersections and along major trails; “Share-the-Road” signs should include “Bikes Use Full Lane” secondary sign; Increase bike/ped accessibility on and across College in “mid-town;” Add/improve bicycle lanes along North Shields, North College, Gregory, Lemay and others; Decrease speed limits near campus to 25 mph; Add “scramble intersections” (also called diagonal crossings and nicknamed the “Barnes Dance”) for Henry Barnes, an innovative traffic engineer at College and Mountain, Laurel and College, and Shields and Elizabeth for bikes and pedestrians; Add lighting on trails for safety (including use of motion detectors with lights); Make broader use of sharrows now that they are approved by the MUTCD (Manual on Uniform Traffic Code Devices); Utilize more PR campaigns such as the “Coexist” campaign; Target scofflaw cyclists for education; Improve east-west access to, from and between the Mason and Powerline trails; Enforce laws consistently; Create more bicycle boulevards; Improve signal actuation for bicycles or have signals default to green for cyclists; Educate motorists about the rights of cyclists and the benefits of bicycling; Educate K-12 children on bicycle safety; Educate CSU students on bicycle safety;”
Black Hawk’s Board of Aldermen has made it clear they don’t want bicyclists or bicycle events in town. The Board approved an ordinance banning bicycle riding on almost every street in Black Hawk. This includes the only paved street (Gregory Street-formerly State Highway 279) connecting the Peak to Peak Highway with the Central City Parkway. Black Hawk police are now issuing a ticket to anyone “caught riding” through town. Bicycle Colorado formally asked Black Hawk City Council to lift the ban during the June 9th City Council Meeting. Council made it clear that they had no intention of changing their ordinance. Now we need the help of the Colorado bicycling community to get their attention. Bicycle Colorado doesn’t think this is right or legal. We are working diligently on the legal side but here is how you can help today:
1. Rally to End Bike Bans on June 29th
Join other Colorado cyclists on the west steps of the State Capitol on Tuesday, June 29 for a rally to keep roads open for bicycling! Be there from 5:30 – 6:00 p.m. and arrive early to help make signs. Adventure Cycling has updated their route alert for riders using their Great Parks Route. The Black Hawk Bike Ban severs the route and the nearest detour is over Berthoud Pass. 2. Email or Call the Black Hawk City Council CityClerk@CityofBlackHawk.org Council phone: 303-582-2212 To: Mayor David D. Spellman and Aldermen Linda Armbright, Paul G. Bennett, Diane Cales, Kathleen Doles, Tom Kerr, Greg Moates Please restore bicycle access to Gregory Street and all Black Hawk streets. Your ban is closing a major cross-state route to bicyclists preventing residents and tourists from biking. 3.Donate to the legal efforts We are in the midst of a legal and legislative campaign to overturn this ban and prevent it from spreading to other cities in Colorado. Your donation is the only way we can afford to do this. Please join our campaign or make an extra financial gift today! 4.Spread the Word Get the latest news by subscribing to our eNews and fan our Facebook page. See a map of banned streets by clicking on “Press Releases” on Black Hawk’s website. Image Credit: Bicycle Colorado