Shared Lane Markings for enhanced road safety
Shared lane markings, otherwise known by the slang term "sharrows", are intended to create safer conditions for bicycling. In the absence of bicycle lanes on some streets, people often ride their bicycles too closely to cars parked along the curb line. If somebody were to open a car door as the person bicycled past them, the bicyclist may get "doored" and possibly injured, especially if there is passing automobile traffic. Also, when people bicycle to the far right side of a narrow travel lane, passing motorists often pass the person on the bicycle too closely. This is not only unnerving for the person on the bicycle, but also leaves little margin for error. Shared Lane Markings have undergone several years of pilot testing in communities around the United States. Studies show that on streets marked with Shared Lane Markings, bicyclists rode further away from parked cars (outside the "door zone") and passing motorists provided more passing space between them and bicyclists than on streets without the markings. A motorist who encounters a Shared Lane Marking does nothing different than what is currently required by law (motorists should wait until they can move into the adjacent travel lane to pass or slow down and wait until you have at least 3 feet of safe passing distance.) The City is considering the use of Shared Lane Markings on some of its roads. A public meeting is being held on Monday, May 2, at 5:30 p.m. in City Council Chambers (107 N. Nevada Ave.) to provide information about Shared Lane Markings. The meeting will include solicitation of public input to help shape guidelines that can be applied when considering locations where marks could be applied.
Public Space Recycling Program Launched on Earth Day 2011
The City of Colorado Springs, in partnership with Greener Corners, launched a public space recycling program on Earth Day 2011. The program, which is being implemented at no cost to the City or taxpayers, began with 60 new combination trash and recycle bins in the core downtown area. In May, 90 more bins will be installed throughout seven of the City's large community parks and sports complexes (Acacia Park; Memorial Park; Palmer Park; Leon Young, Skyview and Goose Gossage sports complexes; and the parking lot at Red Rock Canyon). The robust public recycling program is made possible by a partnership with Greener Corners, a full-service public space recycling and environmental organization. Greener Corners is providing, installing and maintaining the recycling bins. Advertisements sold by Greener Corners will be placed on the bins in order to cover the cost of the recycling program and earn additional revenue for the City. Through collaboration with the Environmental Protection Agency, Greener Corners will also provide our community with progress reports illustrating tangible results, such as saved trees and pollution reduction. A local project manager, sales manager, and maintenance team is operating the Greener Corners program from their new offices on Tejon Street in downtown, 102 S. Tejon, Suite 1100. They?re assembling "Greener Teams" from community groups and volunteers to educate citizens about the benefits of recycling. (For more information contact Madeleine.Mellini@greenercorners.com, tonyaeverist@greenercorners.com or call 719-466-5574.) A survey of the bin contents just four days after the launch showed that they were being used, that the materials were being disposed of in the appropriate bins (mostly), and that the recycling bins were collecting much more material than the trash bins. Within three years City staff hope to have more than 400 recycling bins in public areas and parks throughout Colorado Springs.            
Pilot lets residents brighten their lives with LED streetlights
A federal American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) grant is allowing the City of Colorado Springs to begin a pilot program to retrofit 430 traditional streetlights with energy efficient LED streetlights. The Department of Energy?s Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block grant is providing $500,000 for the pilot program. LED technology has been shown to use 50 percent less energy while lasting up to 10 times longer. Over the last month, the City has retrofitted 156 cobra head style streetlights (primarily at busy intersections where streetlights are attached to traffic signals) and 141 decorative acorn style streetlights (primarily in Downtown) with LED lighting. Citizens are also being given opportunities to win retrofits to their favorite residential streetlight. Throughout this summer, citizens who interact with the City of Colorado Springs on Facebook or Twitter will be automatically entered into random drawings for the ability to designate one of 130 residential test locations. Those who report a pothole, attend an event, or write a poem might also find themselves winners. The first winner was selected from random attendees at the Earth Day public recycling event. A drawing for dozens of winners from the City's participants on Facebook will take place on May 19, 2011 with more opportunities in June, July, August and September. Eligible retrofit locations must be within the City limits, be a cobra head style residential streetlight, and not be located in a high accident location (very few are). Click here for more information.
Gardening season is here
Enjoying local food is one delicious way to incorporate sustainable living. This can be done by purchasing food from local producers/business owners, frequenting food establishments that buy locally, and growing or raising your own food. If you want to grow your own, now is time to start a garden. For the second year, City employees are volunteering to grow an organic veggie demo garden at City Hall (last year's produce pictured) for the benefit of Care-n-Share. For tips on how to get a successful garden going, Pikes Peak Urban Gardens and the Colorado State University Extension in El Paso County are two non-profit resources you can use.
Earth Day brings in the numbers
  • Pikes Peak Earth Day: 600 attendees, $400 in donations to help pay for PV panels on Care-n-Share's new passive solar greenhouse, 321 kid participants in the zoo?s quarters for conservation program for $80.25 in donations to their favorite animal conservation effort, and 3 high school eco-clubs participating in a sustainability summit.
  • Second Annual Colorado Springs Recycles Event (also a part of Pikes Peak Earth Day): 266 cars served, $1,500 raised to help pay for solar panels for Care-n-Share?s new passive solar greenhouse, 4 barrels of food donations collected, and the following waste was diverted from the landfill: 15,000 pounds of electronics, 2,759 gallons of stain and paint, 330 gallons of flammable liquids, 170 gallons of toxic liquids, 11 pounds of explosives, 95 propane tanks, 192 tires and 164 pounds of batteries.
  • Garden of the Gods Visitor and Nature Center Earth Day: 14th annual event, 3,700 attendees, 200 park cleanup volunteers, 1,160 pounds of electronics recycled, 7 organizations gave wildlife presentations and 5 organizations staffed tables to educate about environmental concerns.
  • Mountain Metropolitan Transit: 12,642 rides on public fixed-route transportation were free to people who took up the challenge to rethink their ride, resulting in a ridership increase of 18% on that day.

Colorado Springs Utilities offers water conservation education
Each year, Colorado Springs Utilities offers Xeriscape classes designed to help residents create beautiful, adapted landscapes that suit our climate and save water. They've asked the City to let you know about the following classes held at the Conservation and Environmental Center, 2855 Mesa Road. There is no charge for classes and reservations are not required. Questions? Call (719) 668-4555.
  • Class 1: Discover the Possibilities of Xeriscape: 6:30 to 7:30 p.m., on Wed., May 11 and Thurs., June 9.
  • Class 2: Take Action: 9:00 to 11:00 a.m., on Sat., May 14 and Sat., June 11
In addition, they'll also bring education to you! Choose a water topic, invite a group to bring a lunch and Colorado Springs Utilities staff will provide 45 minutes of entertaining tips on how to save. Topics to consider: The Watershed We Live In-restoring it back to nature, Water Law in Colorado: The Gold Standard-what it takes to gain access to Colorado's water, From Forest to Faucet-where your water comes from and why, Xeriscaping for Coloradoans-the easy way to gain and keep a beautiful yard, Water Conservation-easy changes in and outside your home add up to big savings, Southern Delivery System-future economic affects to our city, Water Quality-it's better than bottled, Water and the West; Water and the World-quick facts about our freshwater supply. Questions? Call 719-668-7820.
Pedestrian/Bicycle data collection volunteers needed

The Pikes Peak Area Council of Governments (PPACG) is again seeking volunteers to collect bicycle and pedestrian data on area trails and bicycle lanes. This is a follow-up effort to the count performed last September. Volunteers are needed for two-hour data collection shifts at 14 locations around the region on Wed. May 11 (from 7 to 9 a.m., 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., and 5 to 7 p.m.) and Sat. May 14 (from 9­­ to 11 a.m.) Please visit PPACG's Regional Bicycle/Pedestrian Traffic Count Program web page to sign up or for more information.

Green Bag Lunch-n-learn: Trees-beyond the prettiness of property values
On Thursday, May 26 City Forester Paul Smith will share the multi-faceted benefits of trees while local historian Judith Rice-Jones will tell how the farsighted vision of our founders has left us with a valuable legacy worthy of preservation. Attendees will take a short walk from America the Beautiful Park to learn more about the tree species planted during this year's Arbor Day celebration. The lunch-n-learn runs over the noon lunch hour, from 12:11 to 12:49 p.m. Attendees are encouraged to bring and enjoy their lunches during the presentation. Those who come have the opportunity to win a door prize tote bag made from recycled City banners. Attendees will also receive a handout allowing them to tour Colorado Springs' notable trees on their own at a later date. Click here for more information.
Going Greener - Upcoming events:
  • Mon. May 2 - Shared Lane Markings "Sharrow" public meeting at 5:30 p.m. in City Council Chambers at City Hall, 107 N. Nevada Ave.
  • Wed. May 11 - Recycling Coalition of Colorado Springs 6 p.m. at City Hall, 107 N Nevada

Environmental Sustainability E-Newsletter from the City of Colorado Springs

Question? (719) 385-CSGN (2746) or cmccausland@springsgov.com. 
This e-newsletter funded by the State of Colorado Department of Local Affairs and City of Colorado Springs.