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Guest column from OWN: Bike boulevards meeting; electronic newsletter

       By Welling Clark, President, Organization of Westside Neighbors (OWN)

       You are cordially invited to attend a Westside input meeting Thursday, Sept. 10 at 5:30 p.m. at the Westside Community Center, 1628 W. Bijou St. The Organization of Westside Neighbors and the City of Colorado Springs wish to receive input about the possibility of designating some Westside residential streets as “bike boulevards.”
       Bike boulevards are best used on local roads with low traffic speeds (generally between 15 and 25 mph) and low traffic volumes
Attendees at the OWN Picnic in July line up for bratwursts, hotdogs and various sides. The tables were set up on the lawn in front of the Westside Community Center.
Westside Pioneer file photo
(generally less than 3,000 vehicles per day). Bike boulevards are intended to be implemented on residential roadways where there will be less stress for the biking experience. These bike facilities offer an alternative route parallel to major roadways while providing the same access and are typically preferred by the casual bicyclist.
       Furthermore, bike boulevards:
       - Indicate that a roadway is intended as a shared street between cyclist and motorist.
       - Raise awareness of the designated routes and encourage bicycling.
       - Alert drivers that they should expect to encounter people bicycling.
       - Reassure people on bicycles to properly position themselves in the roadway.
       - Are low impact, as they are only markings on a road.

       Sign up for OWN's electronic newsletter
       OWN has started publishing a monthly electronic newsletter to augment our outreach effort in the Westside Pioneer (online at westsidepioneer.com).
       You can subscribe to the newsletter on the OWN website (westsideneighbors.org). Also on the OWN website are contact information and past efforts by the organization to make the Westside a better place to live, work, and play.

       Picnic successful
       Once again, 100-plus residents attended OWN's annual Westside Neighbors picnic/potluck. This picnic was made possible by food donations from Front Range BBQ, Jake & Telly's, Safeway, King Soopers and Wal-mart.
       Hundred-dollar cash donations each were given by Cañon National Bank, Councilman Keith King, County Commissioner Sallie Clark and a Westside couple desiring to remain anonymous.
       Fifty-dollar cash donations were given from Old Town Propane and an anonymous couple on behalf of the Pikes Peak Jazz and Swing Society.
       Information tables and outreach were provided by Cañon National Bank, Edward Jones financial company, El Paso County Parks, Colorado Springs Utilities, City Police and Fire, Avenue Merchants, City Code Enforcement, and CSPD's volunteer CAPS and Explorers programs. Thank you all for supporting the Westside and enabling for us to sponsor the event. Remember to visit and thank our great sponsors.

       Avenue Merchants group offers website
       The Avenue Merchants (AM), an organization with the purpose of representing merchants and residents on the historic Westside, has launched a website. The AM mission is to champion the economic, cultural and western heritage efforts in revitalizing the entire Westside tourism corridor (I-25 to Manitou Springs).
       Check out the website at theavenuemerchants.com.
       We are involved in fighting aggressive panhandling, promoting businesses, improving public safety and being good neighbors. Join us and help us build a better future and a better bottom line by making West Colorado Avenue a great place to visit and shop. Questions? Contact us at theavenuemerchants@gmail.com.

       Protect your valuables in your car
       Are your doors locked?
       Are your windows rolled up?
       Are your valuables visible? - Gym bags - School bags/backpacks - Lunch box - Packages
       Are wires to your electronics sticking from under your seat? Are your garage door opener and your home address in your car? Remember, it only takes seconds to get into your car. Look in your car - would a thief want to get in?
       For more information, call Crime Prevention at the Colorado Springs Police Department's Gold Hill Station at 385-2117.
       To report crimes or suspicious activities, call 444-7000. For emergencies, call 911.

(Posted 9/5/15; Opinion: Guest Columns)

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