Longmont officially opens bike-share stations, pedestrian underpass

From the Times Call

Oskar Blues’ Diana Ralston waves as she returns from a short ride Thursday on a Zagster bike during a dedication ceremony for the new Diagonal underpass and Longmont’s bike-share program. ( Lewis Geyer / Staff Photographer )

Longmont and Boulder County officials took a ride on the city’s new Zagster bicycles Thursday afternoon to celebrate the bike-share program and the pedestrian underpass that goes under Ken Pratt Boulevard.

Longmont Transportation Planner Phil Greenwald reminded the crowd that the pedestrian underpass came about because of a death.

In 2005, a 65-year-old man was killed as he attempted to cross Ken Pratt Boulevard to reach one of the RTD bus stops. Walk signs and crosswalks were later installed.

“A person did lose their life here,” Greenwald said. “This is a safety measure so that we don’t lose any more members of the community.”

The pedestrian underpass goes underneath Ken Pratt Boulevard southwest of Hover Street, connecting the parking lots of the hotels on the north side of Ken Pratt Boulevard with the parking lot of Oskar Blues’ Homemade Liquids and Solids.

Boulder County Commissioner Elise Jones said the underpass will help people cross the intersection safely — especially Front Range Community College students.

The pedestrian underpass has been in the works between the county, the city and the Colorado Department of Transportation since 2008. The underpass and the new bike storage bus-bike shelter cost a total of $1.8 million, Project Manager Micah Zogorski said. About $1 million of that total came from a Denver Regional Council of Governments transportation grant, while the county and city roughly split the remaining $800,000 in costs.

On the Oskar Blues’ side of the underpass is one of Longmont’s new Zagster bike-share stations and a bike storage shelter. The bus-bike shelter is part of the county’s Bike-n-Ride program where cyclists can sign up at bikenride.org to receive an access card that unlocks the shelters. There is a one-time suggested donation of $25 per user so that county workers can keep the shelters clean.

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