COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — You may remember the Research Parkway bike lane addition we told you about back in October, despite frustrations from the community they were put in as an experiment in hopes of reducing speeds while giving cyclists a safe place to ride.
Now to the delight of many, they’re being removed.
The city claims because Research doesn’t see enough traffic, it shouldn’t be 6 lanes.
The $10,000 project replaced one lane in each direction between Austin Bluffs and Chapel Hills with a buffered bike lane.
They were supposed to be tested over a 9-month trial period but because so many people are opposed to them, they’re being taken away only about three and half months after they were put in.
Doris Walker, who sometimes drives in the area said, “It wasn’t really a problem for me when I do drive on research. I didn’t see it as a flaw so it wouldn’t bother me if they were still there.”
For Frank Simone, who lives and works in the area, the bike lane removal means peace of mind.
“I thought it was a very bad idea for traffic,” said Simone. “Traffic was bad here already plus my oldest daughter goes to school at Rampart across the street and I think it makes it even worse for kids who have to walk home.”
Throughout the experiment, the city asked for public input.
More than 1,300 people responded to a survey on the project. Over 80 percent of those who took the survey said they wanted the bike lanes gone.
Simone said, “I mean I pick my daughter up from school every day but I feel safer about other kids in the neighborhood and I don’t like the idea of people riding their bikes near cars anyways. I think it’s a bad idea.”
A study done by Traffic Engineering found the bike lanes actually did not help reduce speeds on Research. Now the city plans to address that problem with traffic enforcement.
“I think here in the Springs in general people drive a little on the crazy side but I haven’t noticed excessive speeds,” said Walker.
“I think Colorado Springs is getting pretty congested and traffic here is horrible.” Simone said, “We have a lot of accidents just because of the way the road system is here.”
As for that $10,000 price tag for this unsuccessful project, it’s coming out of the PPRTA On-Street Bike Funds, money some say could be used more purposefully.
“I feel like it’s a giant waste,” said Walker. “We as taxpayers could have put that towards school funding. That probably would’ve been a better use.”
The city says even though this didn’t work out, they will continue the effort to make Colorado Springs bike-friendly.