Breckenridge grows more bike-friendly
Summit County correspondent
Aspen, CO Colorado
BRECKENRIDGE, Colo. – Freshly painted bike lanes along Main Street and other roads reflect town efforts to become one of the state’s most bicycle- and eco-friendly communities.
Soon, the north and south Highway 9 entrances to Breckenridge are to include large signs boasting of the town’s accessibility to cyclists. Smaller signs throughout the town are planned to help guide people to their destinations.
These changes are anticipated to boost the town’s ranking with the League of American Bicyclists, which rates communities from bronze up to silver, gold or platinum based on how cyclist-friendly they are.
“We’re the smallest community population-wise that received a silver award,” town spokeswoman Kim DiLallo said.
Vail is ranked bronze, Steamboat Springs is silver, and Boulder is platinum. The criteria for rankings include engineering, education, encouragement and evaluation, according to http://www.bikeleague.org.
The town was praised for its “safe routes to schools” program, access to mountain-bike trails and bike parks as well as existing way-finding signs.
Town officials want to take it further, perhaps to the gold or platinum level.
“The low-hanging fruit is all we have left to do,” said Scott Reid, town open space and trails planner.
Waterproof trail maps available for $10 in local bike shops and the town welcome center include the latest trails and guides for areas in and near Breckenridge as well as other parts of the county.
Reid said a variety of routes north and south through town offer alternatives for people concerned about safety on Main Street.
The new bike lanes on Main have narrowed motorized traffic, and this is expected to reduce speeds.
“The goal is to keep traffic on Main going nice and slowly,” Reid said, adding that people are encouraged to use Park Avenue if they’re driving through town.
DiLallo said people have already remarked that the “bulb-outs” (curb extensions) installed on Main Street intersections have begun to slow traffic.
The town government continues to encourage staff to sub-out their cars for bikes when possible. Bicycles are offered for in-town errands, the police department has bicycle patrols, and even building inspectors have been pedaling to site visits, DiLallo said.
There’s friendly competition among the town’s departments to see which staff members can reach their goals of driving less during the week.
Reid said work on several bike trails is planned for this summer, with help from a variety of volunteers. Noticeable improvements are planned for the River, Middle Flume and Discovery trails.
The new trail map, trail conditions and other features are available at the town website, http://www.townofbreckenridge.com.
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