2016 was the first full year that Pedal Fort Collins has been around. In the past year, 7,398 people have viewed the site with a full 77.6% of them being brand new readers this year. The most read article of all was seen by 2,692 people! and was quoted by other writers as far away as Minneapolis and Toronto (the Chief Planner in the City of Toronto, in fact). Wow!
Here’s a list of the top ten most read articles on Pedal Fort Collins in 2016.
10. Creating a Vibrant Local Economy: Bigger Isn’t Always Better: Part of a larger series on small, local businesses and their value in creating an economically strong, sustainable, and vibrant community, this article focused on how the rise of cars during the 20th century led directly to sprawling urban development patterns, changes in how and where we shop, and repercussions involving how strong or fragile our local economies are.
9. Mason Street Update: Estimated vs. Painted Lane Widths: Although this article mainly focused on restriping changes made to Mason street this year, I also explored the value of paint — even when it puts bicyclists square into the door zone. We have lofty goals as a city about where we’d like to be in terms of bicycle infrastructure, but we’re not there yet. And changes are often incremental and slow. This is one such example where we’re just not there yet, but even problematic changes can still take us one step closer to where we want to be.
8. Street Maintenance — Who Pays?: There are folks that think bicyclists need to be paying into the system in order to pay for streets and other infrastructure. What they don’t realize is that we already are. Our local streets are paid for out of sales tax, not gas taxes nor registration fees. So everyone that shops in Fort Collins, whether they walk, bike, take transit or drive a car, pays for the roads that mostly only car drivers are using. Think it’s the bicyclists that aren’t paying enough? Think again.
7. Double Tap: My Own Personal Pedestrian Awareness Campaign: The day after this article was published, a pedestrian was killed while crossing the street in a crosswalk. Crosswalks are supposed to be pedestrian safety zones, but I regularly see motorists completely ignore crosswalks and pedestrians. So sometimes I like to just make sure they know I’m there.
6. New Roundabout Coming to North Fort Collins (Laporte Bypass): This is a big deal on multiple levels. Highway 287 north of Fort Collins (but within the Growth Management Area) is in the process of more than doubling, making it just that much further for pedestrians to cross. But, for the first time this area will also be getting sidewalks and bike lanes. And it comes with a new roundabout. A really, really big one.
5. Creating a Vibrant Local Economy: an Introduction: This is the first in a series on the connection between small local businesses and multi-modal transportation. The two support each other remarkably well.
4. The Remington Bikeway: We got our first signed bikeway this year. This is the beginning of a network of routes for bicyclists getting around town… from anywhere to anywhere.
3. Fort Collins’ Parking Problem: We give a stunning amount of land over to cars. And the really crazy things is that it’s not necessarily land that will be holding a car. We set aside land just to be available in case a car ever, one day, might happen to be parked upon it. Much of this parking is completely empty most of the time. And guess who’s paying for this massive waste of land use? All of us, whether we drive a car or not.
2. Imagine a whole new City Park – one that’s more bike & ped friendly: The City is looking at an extensive makeover to City Park. And guess who showed up to the meeting? Not you. (It was one of the worst attended City meetings I’ve ever been to. And yet the park is an important transportation route for bicyclists heading both north-south as well as east-west.) It’s meetings like this that the bicycle and pedestrian community needs to make sure we’re involved in.
1. Which road users make the greatest demands on our tax dollars?: And here it is, the most widely read Pedal Fort Collins article in 2016. There’s a pervasive argument that if bicyclists are going to be using the roads, then they should be paying into the system. The fallacy in that argument is not only that bicyclists already are paying into the system, but they’re also probably paying a lot more than they’re costing the taxpayers. This article took a look at exactly how much damage a bicyclist does to a street compared to a car or a truck. The conclusion? Not much. In fact,… very, very not much.
It’s been a great year! I’m looking forward to many more great conversations in 2017. If there’s a topic you’re particularly keen on me covering in the upcoming year, just let me know in the comments below.