It takes a (passionate) village
It’s about time for another update on the Walk and Wheel Communities that we’ve been working with for almost a year and a half now. Many cities that received grants from Kaiser Permanente hired consultants to create bicycle and pedestrian plans and/or design demonstration bicycle infrastructure projects, and the teams have been working diligently to finish the plans, see them through to adoption and get projects ready for this year’s construction season.
As a project manager for the Walk and Wheel grants, I’ve had the pleasure of working closely with several of these consulting teams, including:
- Fox Tuttle Hernandez Transportation Group
- Alta Planning + Design
- Fehr & Peers Transportation Consultants
- OV Consulting
Here’s an update on four communities that are becoming better places to bike and walk right now:
In Pueblo, a two-way protected bike lane is under construction on 5th Street that will better connect neighborhoods east of I-25 to downtown. The lane is a demonstration project—essentially a very well planned infrastructure trial—that will open on June 18.
In the vast majority of U.S. cities, including Pueblo, protected bike lanes are still a very new concept, and consultants can provide the technical expertise that is needed to help these projects come to fruition. Carlos Hernandez from the Fox Tuttle Hernandez Transportation Group has worked extensively with folks from the city, providing design expertise.
When putting together a bicycle master plan, it’s extremely important to involve residents and business owners to inform the plan. Alta Planning + Design began working with Greeley community members last year to find out what their priorities were for improving Greeley’s bicycle infrastructure.
Following this extensive community engagement and stakeholder support, Greeley’s bicycle master plan was recently adopted with a unanimous vote of city council. The plan provides a framework for improving the community’s bicycle network.
Greeley is also moving forward this summer with more “right-sizing” projects that aim to add bicycle lanes and improve traffic flow for all road users.
Lone Tree is a growing community. A large new development is in the works, so in planning for additional bicycle accommodations the community needed to consider both retrofitting existing roads and planning new complete streets.
Fehr & Peers Transportation Consultants worked with a citizen advisory board and the developer of the new neighborhood to produce a report that details roadway design standards that consider walking and biking viable modes of transportation.
Lone Tree’s city council accepted the report in January and it will guide future improvements to enhance connection, safety and comfort for Lone Tree citizens and visitors. This summer, in line with plans detailed in the report, Lone Tree expects to add bike lanes on sections of Yosemite Street, RidgeGate Parkway and Park Meadows Drive.
Like many communities across the country, Englewood sees the potential for economic development through improved bikeability and walkability.
With Walk and Wheel funds, they selected OV Consulting and Alta Planning & Design to complete a Walk and Wheel Master Plan, with an emphasis on economic impact. For the final report, the consultant team will identify shorter term investments (bike lanes, improved crossings, etc.) to get Englewood rolling.
OV Consulting, Alta and the City of Englewood are hosting a final Walk and Wheel Fest on Saturday, June 20 that will include an on-street demonstration project of a protected bike lane and a learn-to-ride course provided by Bicycle Colorado.
All in it together
It takes many, many people to ensure that bicycle infrastructure is planned and implemented in a way that works well for people on bikes, in cars, on foot and using transit. The consultants, municipal staff and community members working on these projects are passionate and care deeply about advancing active transportation in our communities.
We most often talk about Bicycle Colorado’s involvement with all of the great things happening in Colorado, but I wanted to take this opportunity to say how impressed I’ve been and that I feel fortunate to work with all of these passionate people.