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Colorado Springs tests giving more of Research Parkway to bicyclists

By: Chhun Sun
September 27, 2016 Updated: September 27, 2016 at 5:15 pm
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photo - Cyclists headed off to work after eating breakfast at the Pioneer Museum during the annual Bike to Work Day in 2007. Photo by THE GAZETTE FILE
Cyclists headed off to work after eating breakfast at the Pioneer Museum during the annual Bike to Work Day in 2007. Photo by THE GAZETTE FILE 

Bike lanes will be installed on Research Parkway between Chapel Hills Drive and Austin Bluffs Parkway on Wednesday and Thursday, as part of a test by the city of Colorado Springs to make the 3-mile stretch of road that connects with numerous bike trails safer for bicyclists, walkers and drivers.

The demonstration project - which costs under $10,000 - is a first for the city and features a painted buffer with vertical delineators to separate bikers from traffic, cutting the six-lane road into four lanes.

"Because minimal traffic on multiple lanes encourages speeding," the city said in a news release, "modifying Research Parkway to four vehicle lanes and two bicycle lanes should enhance safety overall by reducing vehicle speeds, providing dedicated space for bicycles outside of vehicle travel lanes and offering an improved walking environment for pedestrians."

The road is situated next to several facilities, including local schools, the Briargate YMCA and shopping centers, in addition to the impending John Venezia Community Park. Several trails are also in the area.

The installation will take place between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday and affect the outside lanes of the road.

Research Parkway will be resurfaced in 2017, allowing the city to test the buffered bike lanes so the demonstration project can be reversed or made permanent with the scheduled overlay.

Officials will monitor the demonstration until next summer and collect data to understand any safety and mobility changes for travelers in the area, the city said.

Residents are asked to take an online survey about Research Parkway at coloradosprings.gov/RideOnResearch.

"We feel this is a good fit for the community," said Tim Roberts, principal transportation planner for the city. "In the end, it benefits the motorists, bicyclists and pedestrians."

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