BMA Calls for End to Bike Ban on City Trails

The Boulder Mountainbike Alliance recently released a report calling for better access to trails in Boulder’s mountain backdrop. The report was released in anticipation of a City review starting October 1 of the West Trail Study Area (TSA). This area encompasses the Open Space and Mountain Parks land west of Broadway, between Eldorado Springs Drive and Linden Avenue.

Bikes were restricted in the area in 1983 with a complete ban in 1987. Since then, Boulder has evolved into a cycling mecca, home to the advocacy groups IMBA (International Mountain Biking Association) and Bikes Belong, along with countless avid cyclists. Last June, Bicycling Magazine named Boulder as one of the cities that is, “Still the Greatest” for cycling. The League of American Bicyclists recently awarded Boulder its highest designation – the coveted “platinum” level as a Bicycle Friendly Community. But despite tens of thousands of acres of open space, there is very little access to high quality, single-track trails that city residents can access without the use of a car.

Shared use trails are already the norm on Front Range public lands in Boulder, Jefferson and Larimer County Open Space programs, Fort Collins Natural Areas, Colorado State Parks, and Colorado Springs Parks and Open Spaces, in addition to the mountain towns to the west. “This is a historic opportunity for Boulder to live up to its progressive, bike-friendly reputation,” said Mike Barrow, BMA president. “We’re making modest, reasonable requests, backed up by the City’s own Visitor Master Plan – better access, close to town.”

Specifically, BMA is asking for a shared-use trail east of the Mesa Trail connecting Baseline Avenue with the trailhead at Eldorado Springs Road, a connector trail with Walker Ranch, and opening up access to South Boulder Creek, Big Bluestem, and Shanahan Ridge trails. “Along with the existing trails in the Marshall Mesa and Doudy Draw areas, this would create a destination for mountain bikers that we can ride to without burning fossil fuels,” Barrow said.

The BMA report, which has been delivered to City Council members, OSMP staff and board members, and media representatives, provides a comprehensive look at trail access in the past, present and future. It includes statistics on the strength of the cycling community in Boulder, quotes of support from the Visitor Master Plan, and articles that debunk the myth that bikes destroy trails.

The City will host an initial Community Meeting on the West TSA planning process Wednesday, October 1, at 6:00 pm at 5660 Sioux Drive.

See the full report at BMA West TSA Packet. For more information on the BMA’s efforts please contact Jason Vogel, BMA board member and Director of Advocacy and Public Policy at 303-525-0832 or [email protected].