Public meeting on city’s sharrow lane plans May 2
A public meeting on sharrow lanes is scheduled at Colorado Springs City Council Chambers in City Hall, 107 N. Nevada Ave., at 5:30 p.m. Monday, May 2.
“Sharrow” is a combination of the words “share” and “arrow,” and is used to define a traffic lane that both cars and bicycles use - marked by a stamped symbol of a bike and an arrow on the right side of the lane that riders line up with.
The meeting was agreed to by City Engineering in response to community concerns about the recent revelation that its staff planned to stamp sharrow markings in the right-hand eastbound and westbound lanes of four-lane Colorado Avenue through the Westside before June. The plan had been worked out by the city with Tim Leigh before he was elected to City Council this month, with Leigh agreeing to raise private funds for about half the cost and the city agreeing to commit $18,000 in materials and labor.
The Westside Pioneer later learned of another City Engineering sharrow plan - to stamp both lanes of 30th Street, including the segment past the Garden of the Gods. Funding would tentatively come from a Colorado Department of Transporta-tion grant and funds built up from the city's $4 fee on each bicycle sold, according to Tim Roberts of City Engineering.
In an early-April interview, he described the sharrow stampings on both streets as needed, based on the current situation in which cyclists ride them regularly and want sharrow markings to remind motorists of that fact.
Regarding 30th Street, Roberts said that many cyclists prefer to use it (despite the lack of a shoulder most of the way and lanes as narrow as 10 feet), because it is a more direct route than the partially paved, city-built trail that basically parallels the road. He also said that he thought it was safer for fast-moving bikes to be on the road because if they were on the trail they might conflict with pedestrians.
However, in communications with the Westside Pioneer this week, Roberts expressed less certainty about either project going forward and said at a meeting of the Old Colorado City Security & Maintenance District Advisory Committee April 20 that the sharrow plans are “still being discussed.”
Welling Clark, president of the Organization of Westside Neighbors (OWN), said he expects the May 2 meeting will have representatives from OWN, as well as the Council of Neighbors and Organizations (CONO), an umbrella entity for groups such as OWN around the city. He said that city staff, by not presenting the sharrow proposal to neighborhood groups beforehand, had failed to follow an established process for seeking community consensus.
Clark also said he was hoping to get answers back from Engineering before the May 2 meeting on his requests for the criteria Engineering officials had used to decide that sharrows on Colorado Avenue would be beneficial. Such would include a “traffic-loading analysis” addressing potential congestion, a Clark e- mail states. As of the Westside Pioneer's press deadline (late April 20), he had not received any such information, Clark said.
Westside Pioneer article