Grant Drive now lays claim to Northglenn’s first bike lane and the pilot program will make the city safer for all residents, pedestrians, drivers, and cyclists alike. The pilot program, which will give residents a chance to try it out before any permanent changes to the road is made, will last through at least October 2017. Grant Street was chosen for this pilot because it encompasses three distinct land use categories within a half mile stretch: a school zone, a residential area and a business district.
There are now two striped bike lanes on Grant Street between Malley Drive and Emery Road; there is also painted “sharrow” symbols (the two arrows with the bike symbol underneath) on the road between Emery Road and Muriel Drive, by Stukey Elementary School, in an effort to slow down drivers while driving near the school, a common complaint. Without bus service the Elementary School’s students either walk or bike to school every day; these will greatly increase their safety as there are different lanes for biking, parking and walking.
Families are more active now and want to enjoy the outdoors; more trail connections will make it easier for people to walk across town rather than use their cars, cutting down on traffic and pollution. These trails will also connect the residential neighborhoods with the shopping areas and parks, further reducing everyday road traffic as more and more people use the trails. Other streets may also be tested for additional bike lanes, once the Grant Street project is evaluated.
The project also includes a city-run website, ConnectNorthglenn.com, where Northglenn residents can give feedback on the pilot program and get information about navigating around Northglen to create “a more bicycle- and walk-friendly community, which will support active living.” Polls were given to residents through the site to determine how “safe, practical and easy it is to walk or bike around town.” Only 36 percent of residents said that
biking in Northglenn is safe and easy, and 50 percent said that walking was safe and easy. Close to 80 percent said the city needs to give the residents more access to biking and walking lanes on the streets and find ways to slow drivers to make biking and walking safer from cars.
“The pilot program will be a great step forward in making the streets for our residents safer by introducing designated lanes and widening the sidewalks to accommodate the bicycles, toddler strollers and trailers, which are common sights in our community,” said Amy Gaiennie. “There are far too many bicycle accidents due to reckless driving and we are here to help you navigate through your options if you were injured while on your bicycle. There are many factors to consider, including medical costs, property damage, and dealing with the insurance companies – we are here to protect you.”