Discussions about Fort Collins’ need to improve bicycle safety is just a pedal away. The Colorado State University Center for Public Deliberation, or CPD, will host the "Bicycle Safety Summit," a community forum to discuss bicycle safety in Fort Collins from 6 – 8 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 12, at the Drake Centre, 802 W. Drake Road.
Although Fort Collins has been recognized as one of the nation’s most bicycle-friendly communities by the League of American Bicyclists, developing safe cycling practices is still a work in progress.
Recent public concerns regarding safe cycling issues, and the deaths of two cyclists, are leading city officials to turn to the community in search of solutions.
David "DK" Kemp, City of Fort Collins Bicycle Coordinator, said that the goal of the "Bicycle Safety Summit" is to respond to safety concerns in the community, with a goal of gathering ideas for creating a stronger culture of safety in the community.
"We need to acknowledge that the city cannot fix the issue on its own," Kemp said. "Community involvement and cultural change is essential to finding a solution."
The forum is designed to gather concerns and ideas for action at all levels of involvement. The idea of a summit is symbolic of the collaboration of individuals, the community, local organizations and government.
"One of the hopes of the CPD is to help our community think of all the different ways we can approach issues," said Martin Carcasson, CPD director. "This is an issue where a simple policy solution is not likely, but rather requires us to work together as a community at multiple levels."
The forum is co-sponsored by the City of Fort Collins and local cycling organizations, Bike Fort Collins and the Fort Collins Bicycle Co-Op. The event is open to the public, and community members are encouraged to participate. Light refreshments will be provided.
Non-partisan student facilitators from the CPD will moderate the forum, and the discussion will be documented to ensure that concerns, ideas and questions will be addressed. The results compiled at the forum will be utilized by the City of Fort Collins and cycling organizations to move forward on this issue.
The CPD was founded in 2006 and is dedicated to enhancing local democracy through improved public communication and community problem solving. The organization coordinates and hosts numerous events in the Fort Collins and Loveland communities. Student associates are trained as non-partisan facilitators and conveners, and focus on helping the public unite and address critical issues in a more effective manner.