Peck: FoCo citizens, town benefit from active transportation


Collegian | Michael Marquardt

Bicycles sit chained in a bike rack outside the Andrew G. Clark building Aug. 30, 2021.

Aaron Peck, Staff Reporter

Editor’s Note: All opinion section content reflects the views of the individual author only and does not represent a stance taken by The Collegian or its editorial board. 

Fort Collins holds over 200 miles of dedicated bike lanes, making it one of the most bike-friendly cities in the country. Given the high student population in the city, these bike lanes provide a cost-effective and environmentally-friendly way for students to move around.


Building bike lanes may appear a simple change in city design, but its outcomes prove to be beneficial for the community’s quality of life. In December 2022 the City of Fort Collins adopted the Active Modes Plan, which aims to promote walking, biking and other modes of active transportation.

The city benefits from active transportation because it encourages a healthier lifestyle, improves community engagement, reduces carbon emissions and provides an inexpensive way to access the city.

While active transportation benefits the community, it is especially important for college students who may not own a car. The initial purchase of the car, combined with maintenance, insurance and gas, makes owning a car unrealistic for many students. Instead, students can utilize a bicycle and a bus pass on especially cold days for a much more affordable option. 

In addition, college students have to balance homework, classes and work and often do not have the time to work out or participate in something active. Biking or walking to class is a perfect way for students to get some daily exercise. Even 30 minutes to an hour can drastically improve an individual’s physical and mental health.

“Rather than sitting in a steel box at stop lights, individuals can ride through peaceful green spaces that provide a sense of calmness and safety.”

Active transportation also benefits the community as it protects the environment by reducing harmful carbon emissions from cars.

Having more people walking or biking for their daily transportation means fewer cars are on the road and less harmful emissions are entering the atmosphere. This helps ensure the beautiful landscape that is essential to Coloradans’ way of life remains in good shape.

Active transportation continues to not only be helpful for the city and its people but also positivly impacts driving in town. Some of the most frustrating situations involve being late because you are stuck in traffic or looking for a parking spot.

By reducing the number of people who regularly drive, the roads will be less congested. This makes driving a much more enjoyable experience and limits the amount of time wasted sitting in a car. 

One of the downsides often associated with biking and cars is that it is dangerous for people on bikes as they have to ride next to fast-moving vehicles. However, Fort Collins has proven it can build bike and pedestrian-only lanes.


Examples of this include the Spring Creek Trail and the Mason Trail. Both bike trails run through parks and next to creeks, providing a pleasant riding experience. Rather than sitting in a steel box at stop lights, individuals can ride through peaceful green spaces that provide a sense of calmness and safety.

Fort Collins prides itself on being innovative and forward-thinking, which is why the city has taken initiative to continue promoting active transportation. The most important parts of the infrastructure allowing for active transportation are the options people have for how they want to get around. Active transportation is good for citizens, students and all of Fort Collins.

Reach Aaron Peck at or on Twitter @Aa_peck7.