Colorado Springs' Downtown Partnership has another project coming down the pike.
The Partnership's CEO and President, Susan Edmondson, announced plans for a public bike sharing project, PikeCycle, during the Partnership's annual breakfast on Sept. 28, saying it was “fine time” Colorado Springs started a program. The bikes will be available for rental and return (to "ports") in and around downtown starting in spring.
Holly Kortum, executive director for Kaiser Permanente in Southern Colorado, which is sponsoring the project, highlighted how the plan aligns with the vision of Kaiser, and was hopeful that it could bring about positive outcomes.
“It improves the air quality, it reduces carbon emissions, it supports and enhances our growing tourism, and it embraces for us our Olympic City USA brand as a fit, active community," she said.
(Disclosure: The Independent and our sister paper, the Colorado Springs Business Journal, are sponsors of the bike share program as well.)
The project, still in it’s infancy, is slated to start offering bikes in April 2018, with a plan to put over 200 bikes and 364 docks in the Legacy Loop area encompassing downtown, Colorado College and the Olympic Training Center.
Those who want to use the bikes will need to pay. PikeCycle rental membership plans will range from one-day to annual use. All bikes are equipped with GPS technology to keep track of their location, so riders don’t have to worry about returning the bikes to specific ports.
But before the program launches, there are a few kinks to work out. Additional sponsorships are being negotiated, as well as a protocol for repairs. One Downtown Partnership spokesperson says that B-Cycle, the company who will supply the bikes for PikeCycle, will help employ staff for local maintenance. B-Cycle, which also has projects in Denver and Boulder, gives a product warranty to clients, but it excludes theft, vandalism and misuse.
In order to keep cyclists safe on the road and in construction zones, more continuous bike lanes will be created as the project expands.
Courtesy of Downtown Colorado Springs Partnership
Projected PikeCycle regions, separated into Phase 1 and Phase 2
Here's the full press release on the announcement and the Downtown Partnership's Annual Breakfast:
DOWNTOWN STARS HONORED, BIKE SHARE PLANS ANNOUNCED
AT PARTNERSHIP ANNUAL BREAKFAST
Dan Robertson, Steve Schleiker and Ladyfingers Letterpress recognized with awards
Colorado Springs, CO - A before-the-trend developer, the El Paso County assessor and a creative Downtown business were honored today by Downtown Partnership with Downtown Star awards at the annual Downtown Partnership Breakfast. Now in its 20th year, the annual breakfast was attended by a sold-out crowd of 700 business, community and civic leaders. Remarks by Colorado Springs Mayor John Suthers were followed by Downtown Star awards presented in three categories: individual, civil servant, and business or organization, to those who have made outstanding commitments to a thriving Downtown. The event culminated with an announcement that Downtown Partnership intends to launch a bike share program next year.
The new PikeCycle bike share program is scheduled to launch in spring 2018. Bike sharing is the fastest growing form of transportation in the world, and PikeCycle title sponsor Kaiser Permanente was on hand to excite the crowd about the project. The first phase of PikeCycle will serve the entire Legacy Loop area, which includes 46,000 households and encircles greater Downtown Colorado Springs. Downtown Partnership CEO Susan Edmondson told the crowd that additional sponsorships are essential to ensure that PikeCycle becomes a reality. More on PikeCycle and sponsorship opportunities can be found online at www.DowntownCS.com/bikeshare.
Also at the annual breakfast, the 2017 Downtown Star Awards were presented:
Individual: Nearly two decades ago Dan Robertson saw the beauty in older buildings such as the Daniels building and the Giddings building and began converting the upper floors to residential units. It was a gamble to create the first lofts Downtown. Exposing the brick walls and retaining the wood floors and wooden beams lent character and beauty to each unit and planted a seed in our urban environment for loft living. From the Daniels Lofts to the Giddings Lofts, the Carriage House Lofts and – newly opened this year – the Bijou Lofts, Robertson continues to lead the charge on mixed-use development right in the heart of Downtown.
Civil Servant: County assessor Steve Schleiker may not have the most exhilarating of roles, but his is a vital part of a well-functioning community. Schleiker and his team work to take the emotion out of numbers, focus on proactively educating citizens – clearing the fog from often complicated state laws and processes – and respond quickly with a positive, helpful approach. Schleiker and his team also were recognized for the newly revamped county assessor website that makes public data user-friendly, business-friendly and resident-friendly, providing valuable information for investors looking to do business throughout the county.
Business or Organization: Morgan Calderini and Arley-Rose Torsone, founders of Ladyfingers Letterpress, were recognized for their business, which “goes beyond simply selling a product or making a product to fully embracing and enhancing their place in the community.” Their award-winning stationery is sold across the country and beyond, but more than that, they have created a gallery space in their store, host workshops and classes and serve as a community gathering place. This year, they rallied neighboring businesses to improve the business facades – applying for a Downtown Development Authority grant and project managing the entire process – to paint, update and create new signage for three businesses on their block. In addition, they hosted a prize-giveaway trip TO Colorado Springs, offering the all-expense paid trip as a contest to their distributors, “because we want them to know how great our community is, too.”
About Downtown Partnership
Downtown Partnership is the lead nonprofit organization ensuring that Downtown Colorado Springs serves as the economic, cultural, and civic heart of the city. For more information visit www.downtowncs.com, or contact Downtown Colorado Springs at 719.886.0088.