North College MAX extension project partners seek public feedback

The North College MAX extension project partners are asking for more feedback regarding potential options for public transit along the North College Avenue corridor from downtown Fort Collins north toward Terry Lake Road. CSU’s Institute for the Built Environment is leading community engagement efforts for this City of Fort Collins initiative. 

The first of three virtual public workshops is a Spanish-speaking one for residents from 6 to 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 3. Interested residents can register here. 

A second one for residents in English is from 6 to 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 10. Interested residents can register here. A business community meeting (in English with Spanish translation) will be from noon until 1:30 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 10. Interested members of the business community can register here. 

“Right now, during this project, we are looking to understand community perspectives around adding MAX service to the North College area. This includes preferences around the relationship between levels of transit services, like frequency and hours of operation, and density of housing and businesses in the area,” said Jen Schill, senior project manager at IBE. 

There is more information on the project website, including an English and Spanish survey about the transportation and development options. 

Schill pointed to a graphic (above) that shows the differences among service, transit types and frequency of service under consideration. 

“This illustrates visually the tradeoff between service and density — we are trying to understand what level and type of new development the community is open to in that area. This will help inform the level of transit service that will be possible,” she said. “We want input from anyone who lives in or already is traveling to the North College area or would be more likely to travel there with improved public transit.” 

Schill provided statistics that show Fort Collins’ overall population is about 12% Hispanic while the North College area is about 41% Hispanic. Plus, she said the area north of East Vine Drive is growing, with about 850 residential units recently completed or under construction and 662 units proposed. 

She also said that as the North College area grows, it is likely that new travel markets will follow. Those include CSU students living in that area needing to get to campus, commuters needing access to jobs, community members wanting access to new and existing stores and people traveling from further north seeking to park and ride to get to downtown or CSU, or to catch regional buses. 

The North College MAX project is not yet funded and could be 5-10 years away, but Schill said now is the time to give input that will help the city apply for funding from city, state and federal transportation grants. And while a MAX extension will not be immediate, the city will be using public input from this process to inform incremental improvements to public transit, as well as pedestrian and biking infrastructure. 

“It is about the future of land use in that area,” Schill said. “That is kind of a big deal – wanting people to weigh in on what the future of the North College Avenue corridor is going to look like from a transit, development, and density standpoint.”