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Applying the Best Solutions:

The bicycle culture recommendations and Vision Network outlined in Chapters 2 and 3 are essential ingredients to making Colorado Springs safer, integrated, and accessible with respect to bicycling. To make bicycle improvements viable—one of the five COS Bikes! goal themes—a strategic implementation approach is needed. How the City phases and implements programmatic and Vision Network changes is as important as the change itself.

COS Bikes! is action-oriented. This chapter includes guidance on which actions to implement first, and how, along with recommended City policy changes. As in Chapter 2, implementation recommendations are divided into Near-term and Long-term. Most recommendations will be feasible for the City to accomplish in the next few years, while some policy changes will require extensive coordination, outreach, and funding that may require several years to complete.

Implementation Approach

This chapter of COS Bikes! gives guidance for near-term actions that the City should take to improve its bicycling environment. Three priority steps are presented: implementing bicycle support recommendations; implementing projects in high Bicycle Priority Areas; and making small improvements to the existing network.

Priority Step: Implement Bicycle Support Recommendations

As the City implements COS Bikes!, it is important to understand that the programmatic recommendations in Chapter 2 and recommended institutional changes in this chapter (City Policy Changes) are as vital to achieving success as installing bicycle facilities. Building stronger community support for bicycle facilities and programs and developing a planning and engineering framework that embraces bicycling will ensure that new facilities will be embraced by the community and are planned, designed, and constructed in a thoughtful, context-sensitive way.

Priority Step: Implement Projects in High Bicycle Priority Areas

Building the Vision Network’s 379 total miles may appear daunting at the outset. The network, however, is intended to be a long-term and opportunistic investment. COS Bikes! recommends beginning Vision Network build out where the landscape for bicycling is strong and appropriate — areas of the city with strong public support for projects and high potential demand and need for bicycle facilities. This step in the implementation process can happen concurrently with the bicycle support recommendations in Chapter 2.

COS Bikes! recognizes that as in many other cities, past bicycle projects have not always been embraced by the public. To change the narrative about bicycling, the City should begin Vision Network implementation in priority areas where success is likely. Years later, when the City can point to well-designed bike facilities with high use, little or no safety problems, and community backing, it will have an easier time expanding the Vision Network and building similar projects in other neighborhoods.

Choosing the Best Bike Facility

While the BPAs help guide the City toward where to begin building the Vision Network, deciding what to build is the next step in the process. This Plan does not include facility recommendations for specific corridors, but contains guidance on the types of facilities that should be implemented under different conditions. The Bicycle Facility Toolbox (Appendix B) discussed in this section will help the City choose the appropriate facility for each corridor based on its unique context, constraints, and opportunities.

Priority Step: Make Small Improvements to the Existing Network

City Policy Changes

The final ingredient of the COS Bikes! implementation strategy, to be conducted concurrent with the Priority Steps previously presented, is to enact internal policy and institutional changes. For the City to make progress toward achieving its vision and goals, and to ultimately become a Gold-level Bicycle Friendly Community, these changes will be needed to make it easier for City staff to design and maintain bicycle projects.

Design for Safety

Find the Right Opportunities

Institutionalize the Change

Maintain What You Build

Unlocking the Potential

COS Bikes! outlines a strategic plan for improving the bicycling environment in Colorado Springs. By developing programs to build a stronger bike culture, beginning to implement the Vision Network in high Bicycle Priority Areas, making small changes to the existing bikeway network, and modifying some City policies, Olympic City USA will begin to realize its vision for bicycling.

As Colorado Springs changes, COS Bikes! will ensure that bicycling programs and infrastructure are part of that change and in some cases, leading the change. The City cannot and should not make all of the changes on its own—participation and support is needed from governmental partners such as PPACG, El Paso County, and CDOT, the advocacy community, the business community, and the residents of Colorado Springs.

Chapter 1 Chapter 2 Chapter 3