Colorado Governor Shares Plan for Bike Trail Network
At Interbike in Las Vegas, Governor John Hickenlooper shared his vision for improving Colorado’s biking and hiking opportunities. According to the plan, over $100 million will be spent over the next few years to increase both recreational and transportation alternatives for Colorado bicyclist including a much more connected system of trails in the state. Governor Hickenlooper has long been a supporter of bicyclists in the state, often speaking at biking events such as Bicycle Colorado’s annual gathering in Denver.
Improve Bicycle Transportation in Colorado
Governor Hickenlooper, along with key transportation officials and bicycle groups, has unveiled the Colorado Pedals Project, a four year mission to integrate bikes into the state’s transportation policy. And for a change, they’re talking about more than just the same old worn-out “solutions” such as bike lanes and bicycle education. Those components have a place in the overall plan, but they do not meet the needs of everyday bikers who have a healthy fear of mingling with automobiles.
Cataloging and Connecting Trails
Finally someone is talking common sense. “First on the Colorado Pedals task list is cataloging and connecting trails –
natural, paved and bike lanes – statewide.” The idea of building more bike trails and connecting current ones is absolutely fantastic. But the first step in Colorado and the entire country should be to inventory existing trails. And why reinvent the wheel. Nearly every trail falls under some local, county, state or federal entity. Why not just connect an EXISTING website like Trailsnet.com with an EXISTING entity like the Forest Service, city of Louisville, National Park, etc. and catalog every existing trail. This is a chance for Colorado to be a pioneer. Governor Hickenlooper, bike czar Ken Gart and Bicycle Colorado leader Dan Grunig should set that as their very first goal. Let’s start by finding out what we already have. Then let’s build on that by connecting existing trails. We’ve had bicycle summits. It’s time for a Colorado trails summit. Bring all interested parties to the table and let’s work as a team to build the greatest and safest cycling infrastructure in the world. While we have a bicycle-friendly governor and an active bicycling community, it’s time to start the revolution. We’ve tried the bicycle lane model for too many years. It’s not attracting new bikers… just the same old two or three percent of people as have always been biking. It’s time to reach out for the other 97% of potential bikers. It’s time to reach out to the people who have the common sense to realize that bicycling on the road is and always will be dangerous. Let’s go with dedicated bikeways for transportation, recreation, exercise and safety.