Improving and expanding Longmont’s bicycle network is an important and ongoing effort guided by the City’s Envision Longmont Multimodal & Comprehensive Plan and supporting Enhanced Multi-use Corridor Plan. As part of that effort, the City of Longmont is utilizing routine street re-striping work to test ways of creating new bicycle facilities on existing streets.
- Allow bicycle users of different abilities to explore what bike lane treatments they prefer
- Test treatments in the field for bicyclists, drivers and City maintenance crews
- Collect feedback from residents about their experiences traveling in the test areas
Give Your Feedback
Over the last year, riders of all cycling comfort and ability levels were encouraged to try out the different bike lane facility styles and share feedback. Motorists were also encouraged to check out the test areas and offer feedback. Feedback surveys were open from June 2018-June 2019.
City maintenance crews also provided feedback on the ease or difficulty of performing tasks with the various treatment options.
The feedback gathered from the Bike Lane Trial Project will be provided to the Transportation Advisory Board and City Council later in 2019.
Styles of Bike Lane Facilities
Several different bike lane facility styles exist, but not all styles are feasible for all streets. Each street segment and the treatment identified for it had to fit specific feasibility criteria. Retrofitting bicycle facilities into existing streets requires evaluating space available, traffic travel speeds, maintenance operations (such as snow removal, street sweeping, etc.) and connectivity to the greater Longmont bicycle network.
Through the Bike Lane Trial Project, Longmont travelers have the opportunity to try out three specific types of on-street bicycle facilities.
Shared Lane Markings / Sharrows
The “sharrows” or shared street is appropriate for low-volume, low-speed streets where bicyclists can share the travel lane with vehicular traffic. This type of bicycle treatment is typically used on roads with wide travel lanes (greater than 12 feet) or local/neighborhood collector streets with average speeds of 25mph or less.
Selected Street Segment: South Bowen Street between Iowa Avenue and South Pratt Parkway
On-Street Buffered Bike Lane / Additional Street Striping
Buffered bike lanes are conventional bicycle lanes paired with additional street striping that creates designated buffer space separating the bicycle lane from the adjacent motor vehicle travel lane and/or parking lane.
Selected Street Segment: South Pratt Parkway between Ken Pratt Boulevard and Pike Road
Separated Bicycle Lanes
Separated bicycle lanes, also referred to as protected bike lanes, use a combination of horizontal separation (like buffer distance) and vertical separation (such as flexible posts, curbs and/or parked cars) to protect bicyclists from motor vehicle traffic. The combination of separation elements can provide a lower stress bicycle experience as compared to a shared or conventional bike lane.
Some of the challenges with protected bike lanes relate to maintenance operations, such as snow removal and street sweeping. The lane widths (distance between curb and vertical delineator) is usually narrower than a standard travel lane; therefore, specialized equipment and different snow removal strategies are required. To better understand the challenges/impacts associated with maintaining separated bike lanes, the time period for the pilot program may extend several months (including through the winter) to allow City staff to evaluate the treatments.
Currently, this treatment is only being considered for high-volume, high-speed roads.
Selected Street Segment: Pike Road (westbound only) between South Sunset Street and South Hover Street
Types of Bicyclists
Bicyclists generally fall into one of four categories and are roughly distributed among the population as shown in the chart below.
Safety and comfort have been identified as the biggest concerns to the largest group, Interested but Concerned, which is made up primarily of women, youth and seniors. Implementing options that address these concerns have the most potential for improving bicycling use among residents in this group.
|category of rider
|| percentage of population (approximate)
Interested But Concerned
| Require physical bicycle infrastructure improvements before wanting to ride
No Way, No How
| Will not ride, no matter the circumstances
Enthused and Confident (also called Casual and Somewhat Confident)
| Ride ably on most types of streets, with a few uncomfortable situations or road conditions
Strong and Fearless (also called Experienced and Confident)
|Willing to ride in any road condition or environment
Program Key References
Urban Bikeway Design Guide provides information on benefits of Buffered Bike Lanes
City of Colorado Springs website page provides information on benefits of Buffered Bike Lanes
Massachusetts Department of Transportation Separated Bike Lane Planning & Design Guide
The Bike Lane Trail Project is a collaborative effort between City of Longmont engineering, operations and transportation planning staff.
Project Engineer Micah Zogorski
Traffic Engineer Tyler Stamey
Transportation Planner Phil Greenwald