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As seen from a point near Colorado Avenue, this is the current four-lane traffic configuration for Walnut Street north to Bijou Street. A city plan, which will be outlined at a neighborhood meeting April 24, suggests "dieting" the segment to two lanes with a bike lane on either side.
Westside Pioneer photo

Plan to 'diet' Walnut Street segment with bike lanes, redo Walnut/Bijou intersection

April 16, 2018
       A bike lane would replace a traffic lane on either side of a roughly quarter-mile segment of Walnut Street, based on Colorado Springs Transportation plans.
       The idea is to be discussed at a public meeting Tuesday, April 24 at 6 p.m. at the First
A cyclist rides south on Walnut Street just south of the Walnut/Bijou Street intersection.
Westside Pioneer photo
Wesleyan Church, 502 N Walnut St.
       The Walnut segment is between Colorado Avenue and Bijou Street.
       Also to be discussed at the meeting are city plans to redesign the traffic flow at the Bijou/Walnut intersection and to reduce Bijou west of Spruce from four lanes to two.
       Tim Roberts, a principal transportation planner for the city, described the Walnut and Bijou proposals as follows in an e-mail response to a request for information from the Westside Pioneer (the words in quotes are his):
  • Walnut to Bijou - “Replacing the outside travel lane of Walnut with a bike lane… would encourage motorists to drive the speed limit and provide a buffer for pedestrians, creating a more walkable, bikeable neighborhood that residents want.”
  • Walnut/Bijou intersection - “The proposed improvements include installing a four-way stop at Bijou/Walnut and replacing the confusing double left turn from westbound Bijou to southbound Walnut with a single left turn. This will address the residents' concern about speeding traffic by slowing it down as it goes down Walnut and will reinforce the need for slower speeds in the neighborhood.”
  • Bijou west of Spruce - “The volumes support this lane reduction, which will help with the single left-turn operation and reducing the speeds through the corridor.”
           According to Sara Vass of the Organization of Westside Neighbors (OWN), the idea to make the Walnut/Bijou intersection safer came from residents in that area.
           Regarding the April 24 meeting, Roberts said, “The city is committed to working with neighborhoods to find solutions to identify traffic safety concerns and looks forward to hearing feedback on the proposed improvements.”
           Speaking at the April 10 City Council meeting, City Transportation Manager Kathleen Krager described the Walnut lane reduction as “road dieting” in concert with the city's new Bicycle Master Plan (which was approved at the meeting).
           The plan shows the Colorado-to-Bijou segment of Walnut as part of its “Vision Network” for bicycle-oriented roadway changes.
           A major network goal is “increasing the likelihood that Colorado Springs residents and visitors will bike for transportation,” according to the plan.

    Westside Pioneer article
    (Transportation: Major Streets)

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