The City government sets its budget on a two year cycle. Though most of it is already spoken for, there’s still a substantial amount of money that can be distributed at the discretion of the City Council. And the City Council makes their decision based on several factors, including input from local residents.
City staff has been hard at work over the past few months putting together “offers,” which are kind of like grant requests. Essentially each department comes up with needs that aren’t being covered under the current budget, special projects that they’d like to see accomplished, or items that would greatly improve their ability to do their jobs, and they put them in a “Budgeting for Outcomes” (BFO) offer. They have to show that their offer will be useful in reaching several of the City’s goals, or “outcomes.”
- Culture and Recreation
- Neighborhood Livability & Social Health
- High Performing Government
- Safe Community
- Environmental Health
- Economic Health
Now is your opportunity to let the City know what you think about how much money should be spent on bicycle infrastructure vs. car parking,… and a whole host of other transportation related issues.
If you’ve given input in the past, you’ll find that this year there’s a whole new online app in place in which to vote your dollars. It’s run by a company called Balancing Act.
If you don’t have access to a computer or just plain don’t want to use the app, you can visit a the Communications and Public Involvement office at 215 N. Mason Street (right across from the Downtown Transit Center). You can also call them at 970.416.2209 or send them an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
There’s a lot more than just transportation issues, so be sure to at least glance through each area to see what’s listed. And transportation related issues are not all just located in the Transportation section. Here’s a list of specific items to take a look at that are all, in some way or other, related to the issue of transportation in Fort Collins. Note that the numbers might not be in order, but I followed the order in which you would come across these items if you start from the first offer listed and travel down through the web app that groups offers together. (This doesn’t even include all of the transportation related offers. Just most of them.)
There is a LOT to read through here. For those, like me, whose eyes start to glaze over after awhile of reading this type of stuff, I’ve highlighted a few projects in red that are notable, interesting, or (do a little happy dance) exciting.
Once you’re ready to give the City your input, head on over to the City Manager’s page on the City website and make your own budget recommendations.
Neighborhood Livability & Social Health:
Offer 27.9: City Role in Community Health and Wellness Study — Encouraging people to use active transportation could be one result.
Offer 75.7: Neighborhood Livability – Code Compliance — Contains just a short snippet on checking for snow removal and sidewalk encroachments, which is pedestrian related.
Offer 75.9: Neighborhood Improvement and Community Building Grant Fund — Could include improvements to Sidewalk/bike path connections, off-street trails, and ADA accessibility. Could also include traffic calming measures and streetscape improvements. (I say “could” because it’s really up to the neighborhood groups as to what they think is needed in the neighborhood.)
Culture & Recreation:
Offer 15.1: Parks, Trails and Facility Grounds Maintenance — Includes monitoring trails for debris and safety issues, repairing infrastructure such as bridges and fencing along trails, and snow removal on trails.
Offer 70.1: Paved Recreational Trail Development — Funds the continued build out of our bike trails according to the 2008 Parks and Recreation Policy Plan.
Offer 28.3: North College Plan Area Strategic Investment Plan — This would include studying where there are still infrastructure gaps in the N. College area.
Offer 80.1: Downtown General Improvement District (GID) Core Offer — This includes some small improvements to sidewalks, curbs and gutters.
Offer 78.5: City Plan, Transportation Master Plan and Transit Operating Plan — One goal would be to foster sustainable infill and redevelopment and another would be to develop long-term transportation plans that improve local and regional transportation networks.
Offer 26.10: Community and Municipal Electric Vehicle Readiness Roadmap — This would help to create a plan that would encourage the use of electric vehicles in the city.
Offer 26.13: Leading By Example: Municipal Strategic Initiatives — This would increase the number of electric vehicle charging stations, would provide an electric cart for the senior center, and would provide an electric zamboni (to EPIC, I assume, though it doesn’t say that).
The police would like to change out their fleet of cars. So it’s related to transportation, but not really germane to encouraging other forms of transportation cross the city. So there’s not really anything in this area to include.
Offer 1.7: Pedestrian Sidewalk – ADA — This offer really just recommends changing the funding source for the sidewalk improvement program that’s already in force.
Offer 3.10: Protected Intersection Pilot Project — This is the project recommended for the intersection of City Park and W. Elizabeth.
Offer 3.11: Bicycle Infrastructure — This is essentially to continue building out the 2014 Bike Plan.
Offer 3.12: FC Walks Program — This would start a whole new program called FC Walks that would essentially do for pedestrians (And aren’t we all?) what FC Bikes has been doing for bicyclists. Namely, it would guide and promote walk-to-work programs, coordinate pedestrian functions throughout the city, ensure that infrastructure planning, engineering, construction, maintenance, and programming are consistent, create a walking map similar to the bike map, promote walking through marketing campaigns and hold special events such as car-free-days and International Walk to Scool Day. There are several other cool ideas in here as well that would encourage people to get out and walk more.
Offer 3.17: Trip Reduction and Efficiency Program –This offer will fund a contract for a consultant to develop and run a new program to deploy innovative trip and parking demand reduction and trip efficiency solutions across Fort Collins. A major focus of this program will be to work with downtown employers to create transportation efficiency for employees.
Offer 3.18: Ongoing: Safe Routes to School Program — This will continue the Safe Routes to School program.
Offer 3.19: All Kids Need Safe Routes to School — This program would guarantee that all students have access to the Safe Routes program instead of using the current “first come, first served” system that’s currently in place for some programming.
Offer 3.20: Ongoing: FC Bikes — This just continues the current FC Bikes programming.
Offer 3.21: Ongoing: School Crossing Guard Program — This is pretty straight forward and is a pedestrian safety issue.
Offer 3.22: Bicycle Safety and Promotion Programs — This would change the funding source for the programs that are currently run. The old funding source is set to expire in 2017.
Offer 3.23: Travel Behavior Survey — Funding this offer will provide the development of an annual community-wide travel behavior survey program that collects comprehensive and accurate data on resident and employee multimodal travel.
Offer 3.3: Skateboard Rack Pilot Project — Funding this offer will implement a pilot program to place skateboard racks in locations with high levels of skateboard use. The racks will provide a designated, secured space for boards in an effort to encourage active transportation while minimizing the potential for creating trip hazards or incidents of theft.
Offer 3.4: CCIP Bicycle Infrastructure — This is also to implement parts of the 2014 Bike Plan, especially improvements to infrastructure.
Offer 3.7: Low Stress Bike Route Design and Construction — This would provide leverage money in order for the FC Bikes folks to apply for grants. You often have to show municipal or public support for a project by providing matching funds or sometimes less. It’s a way to take a little of Fort Collins money and leverage it to bring in even more Federal or State money for bicycle infrastructure projects.
Offer 60.10: SMP Concrete: ADA-Safe Routes to Everywhere Compliance — Rebuilding sidewalks so they don’t suck.
Offer 3.9: Protected Bike Lane Pilot Project — This would fund a demonstration project so that bicycle users can test out what a protected bike lane (I assume with curbs, not bollards?) would look and feel like. It would also provide some funds to research best practices for protected bike lanes.
Offer 67.1: Transit Local Fixed Route Network — This will fund continuing bus service in Fort Collins.
Offer 67.5 – Dial-A-Ride Service — This keeps Dial-A-Ride going at the minimum rate required by the Feds.
Offer 67.6 – Transfort Capital Repair and Replacement — This will enable them to repair and replace a few buses.
Offer 67.7: Colorado State University Football Game-day Transit Service — So, like, the only time some people may ride a bus may be on game days. So this enables them to get to and from the game without filling the neighborhoods with freakin’ cars and tail-gating parties and noise and stuff and things.
Offer 67.11: Transfort Sunday Service — Allelujah! There is a God! Here’s what the offer says, “The demand for Sunday service has been growing and is one of the top citizen requested service enhancements. While Sunday service on MAX is recognized as a critical need by the community particularly Downtown businesses and area innkeepers, this offer proposes a broader, more cohesive approach by providing service on key connecting transit routes in addition to MAX. These routes are essential as they extend the reach of transit providing an important source of ridership linking into the MAX service.” Amen to that.
Offer 67.12: Year-Round Bi-Directional Transit Service on W. Elizabeth St. and Prospect Rd.— This will keep bi-directional service on a route that currently goes to uni-direction during the summer months.
Offer 73.1: Parking Services — This offer funds current services and is 100% funded from ongoing Parking revenues. (Wow!)
Offer 73.2: Fire House Alley Parking Structure Operating and Maintenance — This offer is to run the new parking structure that’s being built by the new hotel downtown. It’s to be funded through the money that the parking structure raises.
Offer 73.3: Parking Capital Equipment — This would add some self-serve stations in the parking structures, some security for the parking attendants, and a couple of cars for the Lovely Ritas out policing parking spots around town.
Offer 73.5: Colorado State University Football Game-day Parking Management — CSU is paying for this one. So why is it even something we can vote on? It’s gotta happen. And it’s paid for by an entity outside the City. It should be on their budget list, not ours.
Offer 33.1: Traffic Operations — This maintains the traffic operations program we have now.
Offer 33.3: Traffic Operations Equipment — This continues funding for equipment. (I assume that means the cool “all seeing eyes” that can tell when a bike is at the light.
Offer 33.4: Traffic Engineering Technician — This would cover hiring an additional technician to work out the stop light signaling.
Offer 33.5: Adaptive Signal System for Harmony Road and Timberline Road — This would enable the City to install a light system that changes based on real-time traffic levels. Right now lights change according to time of day and past traffic patterns. So this would give the City a change to test out a new technology on a very busy intersection.
Offer 63.1 – Neighborhood Traffic Mitigation Program — This would fund the program that deals with trying to slow folks down when they cut through neighborhoods like they’re NASCAR drivers. The program also deals with neighborhood parking issues.
Offer 63.2: Traffic Calming Program Expansion — This enhanced program would consider measures such as medians and/or pedestrian refuge islands, sidewalk curb extensions, traffic diverters, pedestrian crossing enhancements, and bicycle facility improvements in order to achieve a more “complete streets” approach to traffic calming.
Offer 1.4: Riverside Bridge at Spring Creek Replacement (near Edora Park) — The bridge is “deficient” and needs a do-over.
Offer 1.5: Arterial Intersections Improvements — This could lead to improvements at Horsetooth and College. But would it make crossing that vast swath of pavement any more comfortable for pedestrians and bicyclists? That remains to be seen.
Offer 1.6: Lemay Realignment and Railroad Crossing Improvements Project — This would provide planning for the shift of Lemay at Vine. Hopefully it would mean no more bicyclists getting pinched at that mini-bridge over the irrigation ditch.
Offer 1.8: Willow Street – River District Construction – Final Design
Offer 1.9: Poudre River Bridge to 1st Street Construction on Lincoln Avenue
Offer 1.10: Horsetooth Road and College Avenue Intersection Improvements
Offer 1.18: City Bridge Program — This is an important one because a lot of our bridges are hecka skinny which means bicyclists suddenly have to merge with traffic to cross, sometimes without much warning. Redoing the bridges means they’ll be redone to fit all modes of traffic.
Offer 3.2: Transportation Planning Services — Funds FC Moves, which looks at moving people, not cars.
Offer 3.6: West Elizabeth Enhanced Travel Corridor (ETC) Implementation — Funding this offer will implement the high-priority near-term capital improvements identified in the West Elizabeth Enhanced Travel Corridor (ETC) Plan and the more detailed planning and design for the future longer-term improvements from the Plan.
Offer 3.13: Prospect Road Enhanced Travel Corridor Plan — This offer will fund a consultant contract to develop a Prospect Road Enhanced Travel Corridor Plan. This planning project is a specific action item from the Transportation Master Plan (TMP) and will cover Prospect Road from College Avenue to I-25 (about four miles). Enhanced Travel Corridors (ETCs) are uniquely designed streets that are intended to have enhanced infrastructure for high-quality transit, bicycling, and walking, with the recognition that corridors like Prospect Road are heavily traveled and require focused planning and investment. (This is a particularly interesting offer and worth reading if you’re not dead tired of all this stuff at this point.)
Offer 3.14: North College/Mountain Vista Enhanced Travel Corridor Plan — This offer will fund a consultant contract to conduct the North College/Mountain Vista Enhanced Travel Corridor (ETC) Plan. The North College/Mountain Vista corridor runs north along College Avenue from the Downtown Transit Center, east along Suniga Drive, and connects into Timberline Road/Mountain Vista Drive heading east to I-25.
High Performing Government:
Offer 40.2: ENHANCEMENT: FC Trips 2.0/21st Century Communications — This offer proposes to identify, develop, and implement 21st century technical communications tools that provide the community better, more accurate information regarding PDT projects and programs, as well as traveler information about congestion, construction zones, preferred route options, and multi-modal connections. This will be a collaborative effort between PDT Administration and Traffic Operations, FC Moves, Streets, Information Technology (IT) and Communication and Public Involvement (CPIO) staff.
Here’s that link again to tell the City what you think: Make your own budget recommendations.
And if you’re interested in learning more about the historic preservation offers that are on the table, check out this article published on Forgotten Fort Collins. (There are far fewer offers there, so it won’t be quite as mind-numbing as the transportation list.)