The City proposes buffered bike lanes on Chelton Rd between Mallard Drive and Hancock Expy, except for at the intersections with Fountain and Academy, where the infrastructure will take people on bikes up onto the sidewalk. This solution balances the residents’ comfort and safety along with demands of future traffic at those intersections with a cost-effective solution between the intersections.
These proposed improvements are in addition to the bike lanes installed on Jet Wing Drive in fall 2020. They were informed and improved by the public during the Safer Roads Southeast public process in summer 2020. The City proposes moving forward with recommended changes in segments, coordinated with other streets projects, with construction beginning as soon as spring 2022.
How this would happen
These improvements would occur by reconfiguring the space in the right-of-way, changing the roadways from two travel lanes in each direction and a center turn lane; to one travel-lane in each direction and a center turn lane. This roadway configuration is already in place on Chelton Road, north of Mallard and on Jet Wing Drive, north of the Hancock Expressway.
3-lane roadways such as this project proposes generally result in slower speeds and crashes that are less severe, resulting in a more neighborly feel. 3-lane roads are easier to cross and act as less of a barrier in our neighborhoods than 5-lane roads.
By creating dedicated space for pedestrians, people on bikes and people in cars, the entire corridor will provide a safer and more predictable trip regardless of how you choose to get around. The added buffer between vehicles and bikes provides an additional margin for error for all roadway users.
The proposed bike lanes would provide much needed connections for people on bikes to:
- Schools, including Carmel and Panorama Middle Schools
- Shopping areas, including the Academy Boulevard commercial corridor
- Places to recreate, including the SkyView and Leon Young Sports Complexes, the Sand Creek Library, and the Boys & Girls Clubs
- The Sand Creek Trail
- Panorama Park
- Medical facilities
- Places of worship
The data collection and analyses were funded through the Pikes Peak Rural Transportation Authority (PPRTA) On-Street Bikeway Improvement program. Implementation could be funded through the City’s Bicycle Excise Tax.
Update: January 2021
Based on feedback from the community, the City extended the contract with the traffic engineers to develop concept plans for an off-street approach to Academy and Fountain Boulevards. These plans involved both finding the appropriate locations for the transition from on-street to sidewalk and identifying possible complications to widening the sidewalk.
Traffic Engineering is approaching the project in segments which may be constructed concurrently. Traffic Engineering is coordinating the planning and construction with other, larger projects underway in the area, including the signalization of the intersection at Chelton, the City’s 2C repaving program, and the South segment of the South Academy Pavement Reconstruction project.
As a result, the City has made a final recommendation regarding bicycle infrastructure in the area (from south to north, as illustrated in the map below):
- Hancock Expressway (red segment on the map)
- On-street buffered bike lanes from Chelton to Resnik to connect to the SkyView Sports Complex
- Hancock Expressway to Murray Road (orange segment on the map)
- On-street buffered bike lanes in each direction to connect neighborhoods to the Sand Creek Trail and Panorama Park.
- Murray Road to Delta Drive (yellow)
- Bike ramps at the Academy intersection to direct bicycles onto the sidewalk and through the crosswalk for a more comfortable bicycle crossing
- Wider sidewalks to accommodate people on foot and people on bike
- Delta Drive to Fountain Blvd (green)
- On-street buffered bike lanes in each direction to connect neighborhoods to the Carmel Community School, Van Diest Park, and the Leon Young Sports Complex.
- Fountain Blvd to Landmark Ln (blue)
- Bike ramps at the Fountain intersection to direct bicycles on the sidewalk and through the crosswalk for a more comfortable bicycle crossing
- Wider sidewalks to accommodate people on foot and people on bike
- Landmark Ln to Mallard Dr (violet)
- On street buffered bike lanes to connect to existing bike lanes
The City proposes a phased approach as follows:
- Phase 1: Striping and ramps will provide a connected bicycle corridor along Chelton from Hancock Expy to the Sand Creek Trail. Spring 2022.
- Phase 2: Restriping on Hancock Expy will occur when it is repaved. Summer 2022.
- Additional phases are contingent upon other area projects and their timelines:
- Bike infrastructure will carry through the Murray intersection when that intersection gets signalized.
- Bike infrastructure will carry through the Delta intersection when the signal at the intersection is rebuilt
- The segment from Delta through Fountain will be completed following planned intersection improvements at Delta.
- The connection across the Academy from the Delta to Murray intersections will be completed with the South Academy Boulevard Pavement Reconstruction project.
Update: Sept 10, 2020
Based on the results of the traffic analysis conducted in late 2019, the thoughtful survey responses of about 200 people, and the values and needs for the Southeast that were expressed throughout the Safer Roads Southeast process, the Traffic Engineering Division has made the decision to move forward with extending bike infrastructure along the half-mile stretch of Jet Wing Drive between north of Baytown Drive and Academy Boulevard.
In conjunction with repaving in September 2020, this segment of Jet Wing Drive will be converted from four travel-lanes with a center turn lane to two travel-lanes, a center turn lane and two buffered bike lanes. The new configuration will serve to calm traffic and extend existing bicycle connections between Jet Wing east of Academy past the Mission Trace shopping center and Boychuck Avenue west of South Academy.
“Based on the values the community shared this summer through the Safer Roads Southeast public process, we feel these changes to a low-volume road will serve the needs of the community for a safer, calmer, multimodal road that will support redevelopment efforts in this area,” said Kate Brady, Senior Bicycle Planer for the City of Colorado Springs.
In addition, these changes will serve to:
- Provide dedicated space for people in cars and people on bikes, and a buffered area in between, to provide a greater margin for error for both roadway users.
- Make it easier for people on foot or on bikes to cross Jet Wing to get to the Mission Trace Shopping Center, and make it easier for people from other neighborhoods to bike to Mission Trace.
When installed, this segment will complete bike lanes on Jet Wing from Wernimont Circle on the north to Academy Blvd to the south, and when combined with other striping improvements on Jet Wing, will provide safer crossings of Fountain Blvd/Hwy 24 and Academy Blvd, two of the larger barriers for multimodal transportation in the Southeast.
The intersection of Academy and Jet Wing is a T-intersection, but there is a sidewalk connection between Boychuck Ave, east of and parallel to Academy, and both the crosswalk at Jet Wing and the southbound bus stops on Academy. People on bikes will be able to use this connection at a lower volume intersection to provide access to the bike network east of Academy.
Proposed improvements to Chelton Road and Hancock Expressway
Proposed roadway improvements for Chelton Road and the Hancock Expressway are still being evaluated. The City is committed to providing infrastructure that will provide bicycle connections, improve safety for all roadway users and do so with minimal impact on level of service of the roadways. Based on what we heard during the public meetings, and to make the best decision for the neighborhood, the City has have gone back to the traffic consultants to develop options at the Fountain Boulevard and South Academy Boulevard intersections. The additional information and options from the consultant will help guide the City's final decision, anticipated by the end of this year, and assure a project that people in the Southeast will be comfortable using.
Between 2016 and 2018 the City completed a citywide Bike Master Plan, which involved extensive public engagement. One element of the plan was a vision network of existing and future bicycle infrastructure. When built out, this network would provide basic connectivity across the city. The Master Plan identified locations for infrastructure but did not specify what that infrastructure would look like or when it would be built. The segments under question were all identified in that future network.
Chelton was repaved in 2019. At that time, citizens approached the City requesting that we consider a roadway safety reconfiguration to include bike lanes, citing the following benefits:
- Investment in the southeast part of the city
- Safe and healthy environment for kids and families
- Connections/connectivity for all destination in the southeast area
- Safer trail crossings
- Access to Sand Creek
- Improved safety and predictability for all people, regardless of how they choose to get around
Although the benefits were clear, the City felt that a decision to reconfigure Chelton would require an analysis of the potential costs of doing so. In late 2019, the City contracted with WSP, a local engineering consulting firm, to conduct data collection and analysis for Chelton, Jet Wing, and Hancock.
The collection and analysis were finished in spring, 2020, and the City is ready to share with residents the results.
Email Carolyn@Bachmanpr.com asking to receive project updates and meeting reminders.
City of Colorado Springs:
- Todd Frisbie, P.E., PTOE, City Traffic Engineer