COLORADO SPRINGS – Strong words and opinions about the bike lanes recently added on Cascade Avenue in Colorado Springs were voiced at City Council on Tuesday. The topic was not scheduled on the agenda. Instead a large number of people lined up to make statements during the public comment portion of the meeting. The comments went on for nearly 90 minutes.
Two lanes in each direction on Cascade Avenue changed to one with a bike lane late this past summer. The restriping is in part for cyclists, but also to slow traffic and add pedestrian safety. “Please allow us a safe way to commute that doesn’t involve owning a vehicle,” said one cycling advocate.
Most people speaking in opposition to the bike lanes live in and around the Old North End neighborhood. They say their opposition has been dismissed and ignored by city leadership. “Treat the opposition opinion with a little more respect because all you’re doing is engraining this further into everybody’s craw and we’re not going to go away,” said one Old North End resident, “It’s going to get much more aggressive.”
“I’ve heard about even,” said Councilman Andy Pico. He and several other council members say they are hearing equally from people for and against the bike lanes. They also say they are willing to listen, but can only pass on opinions on this issue because decisions fall under city administration and the mayor’s authority.