The city of Colorado Springs released Thursday the findings of a “Bike Master Plan Report,” which showed that the city’s bike infrastructure doesn’t meet current demand.
The report was completed by Toole Design Group, which was hired in 2016 to update the city’s Bicycle Master Plan, as well as “provide a vision and roadmap for how Colorado Springs can provide a level of bike infrastructure that accommodates the range of users who want/need to bicycle for transportation or recreation,” city spokesperson Kim Melchor said in a news release.
According to a report on the “State of Bicycling in Colorado Springs,” which was released as part of the master plan report, “Colorado Springs has a vibrant bicycle culture, but existing network does not accommodate the wide range of people who want to ride on streets for transportation or recreation.”
Ultimately, the report found that in order for local bicycle infrastructure to meet the current demand, the city needs a safe and connected network currently lacking.
Here are a few more of the report’s highlights, according to the city news release:
Bicycle Culture: Residents repeatedly say they value a walkable, bikeable community. In development of the city’s comprehensive plan (PlanCOS) and several complementary master plans residents have said that the city should prioritize infrastructure investments that provide mobility for all users, including people on bikes.
Level of Service Compared to Demand for Service: Without a network of low-stress, connected facilities that extend to origins and destinations, even many fitness or recreational bicycle riders are uncomfortable choosing a bicycle as their mode of transportation for routine trips.
Colorado Springs has few longer distance continuous bicycle routes that connect neighborhoods across major arterials. This limited connectivity is a barrier to accommodating more bicycle riders, especially those wanting to ride for transportation/utility.
Bicycle Ridership and Safety: 2014 census data conducted by the League of American Cyclists shows that bike commuting in Colorado Springs (0.7 percent) is lower than the rate of bicycle commuting for Colorado as a whole (1.3 percent statewide). Additionally, the report shows that the likelihood of injury or fatality in a bicycle crash is far higher than that of crashes overall, with intersections, driveways and alleys of particular concern.
The city has scheduled a Bicycle Master Plan open house event at 5 p.m. on Wednesday, May 3 at the Downtown Penrose Library (20 N. Cascade Ave.) — for more information, visit coloradosprings.gov/bikeplan.