Rachel Hultin

Colorado Pedals Project Year 1: CDOT Region 2

Photo courtesy of CDOT

In Sept 2015, Governor Hickenlooper announced the Colorado Pedals Project. The goal? To make Colorado the #1 Bike State by 2020. This is part 4 of a 6-part series on projects we’re tracking and supporting that further the Pedals Project.

It’s bold. It’s ambitious. It is absolutely achievable but not without the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) locking its proverbial jaws around every opportunity to include and expand investments in active transportation. With a $1.3 billion annual budget, CDOT has the single biggest impact on creating safe options for people to ride a bike. They accomplish this by incorporating bike facilities into resurfacing projects or by adding stand-alone, multi-use trails as part of a major corridor reconstruction or by asking communities where they have the greatest need to improve safe crossings and access for their most vulnerable road users.

CDOT is a massive and complicated agency with complex funding and even more complex restrictions attached to those funds. Even so, CDOT is doing good work related to bicycling across the state. We have been working closely with both headquarters and all five CDOT regions to represent your interests and further advance the goals of the Colorado Pedals Project. As we enter the second year of the Pedals Project, we thought it would be a good time to recognize current successes and look to even bigger ones on the horizon.

This is the fourth of six blog posts highlighting each CDOT region and headquarters to inform folks about exciting projects happening in their hometowns and backyards. You can read the Region 5 blog post here, the Region 4 blog post here and the Region 3 blog post here.

Quick facts about CDOT Region 2

~ It is roughly the Southeast quadrant of the state and includes Colorado Springs, Pueblo, Trinidad, Walsenburg, Lamar and Bailey.
~ Includes 14 of Colorado’s 64 counties and 18.3% of the state’s population.
~ Has 4,932 state highway lanes miles, or about 21% of the total state highway lane miles in Colorado.
~ Is home to all or part of three Colorado the Beautiful’s “16 in 16” priority trails including: Ring the Peak, Colorado Front Range Trail, North Elk Creek and Arkansas River Stage & Rail Trail.
~ Region 2 headquarters is located in Pueblo and will relocate to a new building co-located with Colorado State Patrol’s regional facility in 2018. Karen Rowe is the Regional Transportation Director. Dan Dahlke is the designated Region 2 Bike/Ped Specialist Team.

Region 2 Transportation Director, Karen Rowe, said of the region’s strengths, challenges and vision for active transportation:

“Region 2 is dedicated to improving and encouraging biking and walking as modes of transportation throughout the southeast portion of the state. We believe it starts from within and the Region 2 team walks (or bikes) the talk. Region 2 holds several trophies and awards, within CDOT as well as in our communities for employees participating in Bike to Work days. Our new headquarters building will feature a walking path and bike racks to encourage employees to be active.” 

Notable Region 2 projects with bike/ped improvements in the past 12-ish months

 

#1: I-25/Fillmore Diverging Diamond Interchange
The I-25 Fillmore Diverging Diamond Interchange, which was complete summer 2016, features a new pedestrian walkway in the center of the median. Traffic signals allow pedestrians to enter the interchange and cross over onto the median where then will continue to the second set of traffic signals, which transitions them back to either side of Fillmore Street. The sidewalk, which is on the eastbound side of the bridge is 14 feet wide. The DDI also features a 5 foot wide bicycle lanes eastbound and westbound on both bridges. The cost savings for this innovative design allowed CDOT to build the project sooner than originally planned.

#2: I-25/Cimarron Interchange
The $113 million project at I-25 and Cimarron in Colorado Springs, which will be completed late this year, includes improved trail connectivity and aesthetic treatments. Pedestrian bridges will be added over Upper Fountain Creek and Monument Creek as part of the project. The Midland Trail will be realigned to offer improved, safer access to America the Beautiful Park. The project will also enhance and improve connections with Bear Creek Trail and Pikes Peak Greenway Trail.

Photo Courtesy of CDOT
Photo courtesy of CDOT

#3: Pueblo West Trail System
CDOT’s local agency group continues to work with Pueblo West to improve numerous trails as part of Safe Routes to School. Currently the group is working on Phase III of the trail system that will provide trail access to Liberty Point Magnet School. For more information on the Pueblo West Trail system, click HERE.

Photo courtesy of Pedals to Plains

#4: Pedal the Plains
Pedal the Plains was held in Region 2 in 2016. http://www.pedaltheplains.com/the-experience/

#5: Bike to Work Day
Region 2 had riders from Pueblo, Colorado Springs, Lamar, Sugar City, Fairplay and Eads take advantage of Bike to Work day on June 22, 2016. Special events were held throughout the region for those who decided to make their way to work on two wheels. For the third consecutive year, Region 2 took home the CDOT traveling trophy for highest percentage of employees participating in Bike to Work Day.

#6: Colorado Downtown Streets Workshops in Woodland Park and La Junta [March 2017]
Colorado is experiencing a steady increase in population and tourism, and with this comes an interest in revitalizing downtowns and main streets. Through a partnership between CDOT, CDPHE, DOLA and Community Builders, half-day workshops are being held in March to help communities learn how to strike a balance among the many demands facing their downtown streets. Workshop attendees will learn how to communicate and work with state and local agencies, identify problems, consider solutions, and get projects built to improve their downtown. The workshops are designed for community residents, engineers, planners, advocates, and anyone else interested in making their downtowns better. Workshop attendance is limited so those that are interested are encouraged to sign up now.

2016 Region 2 funding awarded from state agencies and statewide partners

Even more good things are happening at the local level thanks to federal pass-through funding.

2016 Safe Routes to School Infrastructure Grants
Safe Routes to School is a program intended to improve the safety of walking and bicycling routes for children, specifically around schools.
1.  North Mesa Elementary Bicycle Safety Improvements and Education, Pueblo County
$200,000 infrastructure grant + $20,000 local matching funds

Transportation Alternatives Program (awarded in 2016 for 2018-2020)
Transportation Alternatives is a federally-funded program that provides grants for projects defined as transportation alternatives.
1. Arkansas River, City of Pueblo
$700,000  TAP Grants [2] + $175,000 local matching funds
2. Northern Avenue Trail, City of Pueblo
$482,00 TAP Grant + $120,00 local matching funds
3. Joe Martinez Trail, Pueblo County
$537,035 TAP Grant + $132,259 local matching funds
4. Colorado Front Range Trail, City of Las Animas
$300,000 TAP Grant + $75,000 local matching funds
5. Colorado Front Range Trail, Pueblo County
$132,800 TAP Grant + $33,200 local matching funds
6. Ring the Peak Trail, El Paso County
$680,000 TAP Grant + $170,000 local matching funds
7. Cripple Creek Sidewalk and Trail Improvements, City of Cripple Creek
$787,173 TAP Grant + $196,793 local matching funds
8. Lamar Streetscape, City of Lamar
$400,000 TAP Grant + $100,000 local matching funds

Other Funding to Region 2 “16 in 16 Trails”
1. Colorado Front Range Trail, City of Pueblo
$2,500,000 FLAP Grant + $286,7500 local matching funds

Rachel Hultin

About the Author: Rachel Hultin

Rachel works with agencies, organizations and communities to ensure Colorado becomes the best state in the nation for riding bikes. Her passion for all forms of active transportation fuels opportunities for successful collaboration. When not talking shop, Rachel enjoys hunting for street art with her family and volunteering in her community.

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