Wednesday, August 11, 2010
Tampa Bay Can Learn Bicycle Infrastructure From Colorado
SWFBUD was in Colorado early August, visiting Denver, Boulder and Fort Collins to see excellent bicycle infrastructure such as bike lanes, sharrows, signs warning motorists to watch for bicyclists and a paved trail network.
I showed the Hillsborough County BPAC (Bicycle Pedestrian Advisory Committee) many of these photos today as part of a presentation at a BPAC meeting.
Sharrows are everywhere in Denver. Why not put those on roads in Tampa? They alert motorists that bicyclists are on the roads.
Sharrows just don't have to be limited to urban settings. Here are sharrows on US 287 leading into Fort Collins on a road where there are three lanes leading into the city. Tampa has one-way three-lane speedways called Armenia, Platt, Cleveland and Florida -- roads desgned for only cars and not bicycles. Why not put sharrows in the right lanes if you're not going to install a bike lane?
Bike lanes are excellent, too, in Denver.
The trails are not just for recreation in Denver -- they're a super-highway, utilitarian system for bicyclists who want to commute to jobs. Here is a bike-ped bridge linking the South Platte River Trail with the Cherry Creek Trail.
Metro Denver builds trails along rivers, creeks and lakes -- here is one of the two big ones in Denver, the Cherry Creek Trail, which allows bike commuters to get to work in downtown Denver. Why not build regional trails along the Bypass Canal and Hillsborough River from miles away that connect into downtown Tampa?
Here is an amazing ped/bike bridge spanning I-25 in Denver, allowing peds and cyclists to go from a neighborhood to work in downtown Denver.
Tampa Mayor Pam Iorio killed proposed bike lanes on Euclid Avenue because she thought bike lanes would take away space for people who want to park their cars, but in Denver you can see people can park cars and also have a bike lane and a lane for vehicular traffic.
In the Denver western suburb of Wheat Ridge, signs warn motorists to be alert for bicyclists and peds.
In Fort Collins, there are signs warning motorists to watch out for bicyclists as they exit a commercial parking lot on US 287, then there are bicycle signs on 287. This is great stuff.
A Boulder organization has started an amazing bike-rental/bike-sharing program called B Cycle in Denver and there are 30 locations around Denver where you can swipe your credit card and use a sturdy two-wheeler. This location is at the art museum. In Fort Collins, they have a city-sponsored "bike library" where you can sign out a bicycle for a week for free.