Boulder County Community Planning & Permitting is taking public comment through May 21 for the Vision Zero initiative as part of the 2020 Transportation Master Plan Update. Here’s BMA’s public comment, take a read then submit your own!

Getting people out of cars is one of the best ways to promote Vision Zero, along with getting more people riding bicycles, walking, and taking transit services. And one way to get more people riding bicycles is to promote, build and encourage use of non-motorized multi-use trails in Boulder County, in both unincorporated County areas and all the cities and towns.

There are numerous non-motorized trails in the county where the simple act of people riding bicycles is currently prohibited. The County and partner governments and land managers could open (or reopen, in most cases) many of these trails for people riding bicycles. Here is a list of some of BMA’s suggestions:

  • Betasso Preserve Connection
    • Missing Connection: The new Canyon Trail extension will not connect to the Betasso Link trail. Riders must continue .5 miles on Highway 119 or 3 miles on Fourmile Canyon Dr. to the Fourmile Link trail to access Betasso Preserve from town.
    • Solution: Open a connection at Highway 119 and Fourmile Canyon Dr. incorporating the existing historical road behind the Adventure Lodge.
  • Eldorado Canyon State Park to Walker Ranch Connection
    • Missing Connection: Accessing Walker Ranch from town requires riding on Flagstaff Road. Even if cyclists use Chapman Road, the journey still requires over 4 miles on this mountain road with no shoulders.
    • Solution: Open the existing Eldorado Canyon Trail to bikes and make improvements to the trail for all users.
  • Doudy Draw to Eldorado Canyon State Park
    • Missing Connection: For cyclists wanting to ride from Doudy Draw to Rattlesnake Gulch Trail in Eldorado Canyon State Park, riders must use the heavily congested Eldorado Springs Drive.
    • Solution: Open the Fowler trail to bikes.
  • South Boulder to Doudy Draw
  • Chapman to top of Flagstaff
    • Missing Connection: Cyclists riding to Walker Ranch via Chapman Drive must still ride over 4 miles on Flagstaff Road.
    • Solution: Open Long Canyon trail to bikes. This will shorten the distance on Flagstaff Road by 1.5 miles.
  • North Boulder to Joder Ranch and Heil Valley Ranch
    • Missing Connection: Accessing Heil Valley Ranch from North Boulder requires riding on Highway 36 or other roads open to cars. The long-awaited North Sky Trail, which was approved in 2016, has not been built yet.
    • Solution: Open the existing historic railway bed Foothills Bench trail to bikes.
  • Sunshine Canyon
  • Lyons Trail Connection
    • Missing Connection: There are no soft-surfaced multi-use trails connecting Gunbarrel to Lyons.
    • Solution: Continue working on and funding the conceptual plan of connecting these towns.
  • Rabbit Mountain Open Space Link
    • Missing Connection: People riding bikes between Lyons and Rabbit Mountain Open Space must ride on Highway 66.
    • Solution: Continue working on and funding the conceptual plan of a connecting trail from Lyons to Rabbit Mountain.

Allowing access to these trails for people riding bicycles would help get people OFF of dangerous roads and AWAY from dangerous drivers, allow safer options for vulnerable road users, and promote mobility justice while helping Boulder County achieve goals outlined in the Vision Zero plan.

BMA also requests that the County relaunch the currently-dormant Regional Mountain Trails initiative that was started in 2012 and placed on-hold after the 2013 Flood. As a reminder, the Regional Mountain Trails stated plan/mission/goal was:

“U.S. Forest Service, National Park Service, Colorado Parks & Wildlife, Boulder County, City of Boulder, and City of Longmont are partnering to develop a long‐term, multi‐agency master plan for a network of access points and travel corridors for non‐motorized users in the foothills and mountains of Boulder County. The goal of the Regional Mountain Trails Master Plan is to connect communities and recreation areas in the mountains and foothills to regional trails in the plains. The plan will emphasize linking existing trails and trail systems.”

Thank you for your work on the crucial Vision Zero plan to make transportation, mobility and access to public lands and recreation safer, just, and equitable for all. BMA and its volunteer base stand ready to help.

Board of Directors, Boulder Mountainbike Alliance

A.J. Kamish, President
Rich Cook, Vice President
Deb Trevor, Secretary
Colin Towner, Treasurer
Ryan Beck
Lauren Costantini
Rafael Guevara
Marcus Popetz
Kelsey Wisinski

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