You may be wondering what a local election has to do with mountain biking.
All major trail plans in Boulder County come down to decisions made by elected officials. Every trail, every regional plan, all the funding to do maintenance, or buy parcels to allow for a regional trail, every fricking picnic bench – all of these things come down to votes made by people we elect. And this is particularly true if you live in the city of Boulder.
As a 501(c)(3), BMA can’t endorse candidates. However, we can (and did) work with Boulder Public Lands Coalition (BPLC) to send a questionnaire about Open Space and recreation to all candidates. Ten of the candidates responded and you can read those responses on the BPLC website. If you are ready to vote, check out our voter links at the bottom of this article or just get to it with your ballot. If you need more convincing on why your vote matters, read on.
Recreation has been, and still is, a controversial idea in Boulder (No idea why. Don’t ask us). Mountain biking access has been something that BMA has had to fight for since we began. In fact, BMA (then the Boulder Offroad Alliance) was formed because elected officials voted mountain bikes off of ALL trails on Boulder open space and people organized to reverse that.
This November, we have a monumental set of elections in Boulder. Six of the nine city council seats may turn over. There are many reasons to vote for a candidate. While we hope you consider a person’s character and what perspectives they might bring to city council, we really hope you also consider their view on recreation. If you are new to Boulder since 2011, here’s a fun fact. Ever wonder why there is almost zero mountain bike access (don’t forget about Chapman Drive) from Eldorado Springs to Mount Sanitas? That was a 2011 city council vote on the West TSA.
Right now, the North Sky trail (a trail approved in the 2015 North TSA that could connect Boulder to Heil Ranch) is stalled. No actions have been taken to build and rebuild the trails at Boulder Valley Ranch. In spite of a two-year study stating that the people of Boulder, particularly underrepresented minorities, wanted more facilities (bathrooms, picnic benches), the city has made little progress. These are issues that we believe that a city council should consider and advocate for.
Democracy is hard. But, we can make a difference. The difference between winning a seat and not in the last election was just over 1,000 votes. And here’s some sobering news – only 43.6% of registered voters voted in the 2017 local election (you can see some fun infographics here). So like we said, we can’t endorse candidates, but we can tell you to get out and vote (or vote in your jammies in the privacy of your home, yay for mail-in ballots!).
- Boulder County voter information (register, ballot tracking). You can still register to vote and vote in person up to Nov 5.
- Boulder County election information
- City of Boulder election information
- Daily Camera Voter Guide
- The Boulder Beat Boulder City Council Election 2019
- And remember to check out how the candidates responded to questions about Open Space and recreation