CSU working to make campus more bike friendly

Sady Swanson

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Colorado State University, in conjunction with the City of Fort Collins, is creating a plan for a more bicyclist-friendly campus to be completed Nov. 17.

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The CSU plan includes many improvements that would expand upon current trails and create new trails, according to CSU’s Alternative Transportation Manager, Aaron Fodge.

Some of the bigger on-campus improvements include a shorter route to the Oval past the transit center and the permanent closure of Meridian, making it completely bike and pedestrian friendly, but still bus-friendly so transit buses can get through.

Buffered bike lanes will be installed, like on Plum Street.

“A buffered bike lane is where you have a sidewalk, a bike lane, and then a buffer that’s painted on the ground,” Fodge said. “It shrinks the travel lane that cars go down and gives you a little extra space between the bike lane and the traffic.”

Video by: Elizabeth Ruiz

The CSU plan also includes protected bike lanes, where there is a barrier between the bicyclists and the traffic. The barrier can be anything, like a median or parked cars, Fodge said.

CSU’s plan also involves expanding current paths, such as the shared use path that runs past the Lory Student Center and the Lagoon. Additional separated paths, where pedestrians and bicyclists have their own designated paths, will also be built.

Shared trails, where bicyclists and pedestrians use the same path, will still be on campus because there may not be room to expand and split the trail.

Fodge also said there are planned improvements to South and Foothills campuses as well. Those improvements include protected bike lanes and a connection from the Mason Trail into South Campus.

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Samantha Block, the Deputy Director of Enviornmental Affairs for ASCSU, is the student liaison for the plan and has been gathering student opinions for the plan since last year.

“Most students have a problem somewhere,” Block said. “It’s great how [the plan] incorporates student opinion.”

The Bicycle Master Plan intends to make it easier and safer for those that want to bike for transportation, but are hesitant. (Photo credit: Sady Swanson)
The Bicycle Master Plan intends to make it easier and safer for those that want to bike for transportation, but are hesitant. (Photo credit: Sady Swanson)

Fodge said that the University’s partnership with the city is important because there is a lot of traffic coming and going to and from campus every day.

According to Fort Collins Bike Programs Manager Tessa Greegor, the goal is to get more people riding, and to do that the city must increase the signage and make it safer and more comfortable for citizens to ride bikes.

“We do a really poor job on campus and in Fort Collins with signage,” Fodge said. “We need to do a better job signing routes and making it easy for people who may be somewhat hesitant to ride their bike.”

The city’s plan focuses more on what is called the Low-Stress Network, according to Greegor.

“We are looking at identifying a network of streets that are already relatively comfortable for people to ride on,” Greegor said. “If you can’t get across some of the more higher-stress roads, then people aren’t necessarily going to make that trip by bike.”

The goal is to make it easier and safer for people to ride bikes.

“As we continue to make additional improvements for cycling, we’ll start to see people maybe we don’t currently see out there riding,” Greegor said.

Collegian Reporter Sady Swanson can be reached at news@collegian.com or on Twitter at @sadyswan.