Parking Protected Bike Lanes

What are parking protected bike lanes?

Parking protected bike lanes increase safety by putting more space between cars, bikes and pedestrians. This is accomplished by placing vehicle street parking between vehicle travel lanes and bike lanes as illustrated below. Vehicles, bikes and pedestrians all know where they should travel leading to fewer conflicts.

The Downtown Partnership and the City of Colorado Springs have worked with residents and businesses to develop a plan for shaping the future of our downtown. Because the downtown area has a high concentration of pedestrians and bicycles, a key goal of the Experience Downtown Master Plan is to create a more pedestrian and bicycle friendly city center. 

In that effort, parking protected bike lanes on Weber Street were installed to create an environment for everyone, whether on bike, on foot, or in car. Weber Street was selected for this type of infrastructure because it is a low volume north/south corridor that, when combined with bike lanes on other streets, provides connectivity through our downtown and to the Legacy Loop and Shooks Run trails.

This configuration on Weber Street is new to Colorado Springs, but has been successfully used in many cities to create a safer environment for all modes of transportation. Users are urged to use caution until they become familiar with the new configuration.

Below is some helpful information for motorists, pedestrians and bicyclists. Please obey all traffic signals, signs and markings.

Motorists:

Weber Street is now one travel lane in each direction between Rio Grande and Pikes Peak.

Be alert to vehicles parked to the right of traffic, but not next to the curb.

  • Take extra caution and look both ways before turning across the bike lane at intersections, driveways and alleys, especially when the bike lane is protected by on-street parking.
  • Remember through-bicyclists have the right-of-way at uncontrolled intersections, driveways and alleys.
  • Don’t drive in a protected bike lane. You can turn across a protected bike lane, but must yield to people riding bicycles.
  • Parked drivers should enter and exit their vehicle in the same manner as if the vehicle were parked next to the curb. When exiting, drivers should look in their rear view mirror and wait until it is clear to exit the vehicle. When entering the driver’s side of a vehicle, stand in the loading or parking area and look to make sure there is no oncoming traffic before entering the vehicle.

Pedestrians:

Parking protected bike lanes enhance safety for pedestrians in several ways. Not only should bicyclists no longer ride on the sidewalk, but the crossing distance is also shorter. Also, this configuration often results in cars driving slower.

  • Cross a protected bike lane at a crosswalk when crossing the street.
  • Be alert for cyclists when crossing a protected bike lane to access a parked vehicle.
  • When traveling along a street, use the sidewalk.
  • Be alert for passing bicyclists when crossing the street.

Bicyclists:

  • Yield to pedestrians and wheelchair users who may be crossing the road and protected bike lane.
  • Give an audible signal before overtaking and passing another bicyclist.
  • Watch for turning vehicles when approaching intersections, driveways and alleys.
  • Be alert for passing bicyclists within the bike lane and for pedestrians crossing the bike lane to access parked motor vehicles.
  • Stay to the right and allow faster users to pass safely.
  • Watch for bicycle signals and obey all traffic signs and signals.

How to make a left turn from the bike lane:

Left turns are made in two stages: 1) Crossing the intersection, stopping, then repositioning your bike in the direction you want to turn, and then, 2) proceeding when the light is green.

  • When the light is green, cross the intersection (signal you are slowing)
  • Head to the area in front of the crosswalk of the perpendicular street.
  •  Stop and position the bike in the direction you want to go (in line with bike lane of perpendicular street) taking care not to block the intersection.
  • Wait for the green light before proceeding in the new direction.