2014….a Good year! 2015….will be a GREAT year for cyclists!

2014 was a great year for Bike Jeffco. We passed a number of major milestones. Hopefully, 2015 will be even better.

Perhaps the greatest achievement is one not  unique to Jefferson and Clear Creek Counties. It is the acceptance of cycling as legitimate mode of transportation by the decision makers. No longer are we a bunch of loonies in lycra. For the first time since the birth of the automobile, the actual miles traveled by auto has diminished. Meanwhile, other modes of transportation, such as transit and cycling have seen increases.

This makes the work of our advocacy group much easier when we have decision makers and planners on our side!

Come to our meeting on January 13th, 7:00pm at the Jefferson County Government Center when we will go over the 2015 plans in detail.

2014 – A Good Year

 

501(c)(3) Status with the IRS.
Bike Jeffco is now registered as a charitable organization and, as such, all donations to the organization are tax deductible.   We will be putting a DONATE button on this website soon as many people have asked how they can support the work of our all volunteer staff.

First Bike Jeffco Sponsored Rest Area Built
After much negotiation with the Jefferson County Open Space division, our first rest area has been built at Phillipsburg in Deer Creek Canyon. This should be operational by the spring.

Outreach Events
Bike Jeffco provided support to Denver Century participants at the Broomfield rest area.
Bike Jeffco took a booth at the VeloSwap event in October.
We provided local biking info at the Dinosaur Ridge Open Day nearby Red Rocks Park.

Emergency Phone Usage
Two bicycle accidents in Deer Creek Canyon were initially reported from the emergency phones installed there at the insistence of Bike Jeffco.

Bowles Avenue and SW Plaza.
As the County Commissioners rejected the staff proposal to add bike lanes to Bowles Avenue between C-470 and South West Plaza, Bike Jeffco suggested and subsequently got approval for an alternate bike route using lightly trafficked streets to the north of Bowles Ave. The plan includes signing the route and paving a short link from the C-470 bikeway to the new bike route.

As part of the bicycle improvements around South West PLaza, the County installed bike lanes along Cross Drive between Wadsworth Blvd and Bowles Avenue.

Bicycle Friendly Status for Jefferson County.
Bike Jeffco encouraged and subsequently helped complete an application to achieve bicycle friendly status for the unincorporated parts of the County. Though the response was only an honorable mention, the County was encouraged to apply again after making suggested improvements.

Bergen Parkway Improvements
Bike lanes were being installed along Bergen Parkway north of the roundabout to SH-74.

Federal Funding Application
Bike Jeffco has worked with County staff to suggest projects to improve bicycle routes in the County.

The County has applied for funding for the following routes:
1) Provide a bikeway along US 6 from the Christopher Dodge car dealership to the County Admin building. This is part of extending the West Line bikeway from the light rail station at Oak Street to the end of the line.

2) Add shoulders to 32nd Ave between Eldridge and Alkire.
3) Add shoulders to McIntyre between 32nd and 58th Ave.

West Line Bikeway
Though pleased with the establishment of a bike way alongside the West Line light rail between the Platte River trail and Oak Street station, Bike Jeffco produced and submitted a report on safety and signage issues related to the route.
The safety issues have been addressed for the most part.

El Rancho – Genesee Link
Construction of this vital link, first proposed by Bike Jeffco in 2005, has been delayed until at least 2015 as construction costs have increased significantly with the economic recovery.

Clear Creek County
CDOT and Clear Creek County upgraded Squaw Pass Road between the Jefferson County line and Echo Lake Lodge to make it safe for road cyclists. A climbing shoulder was added.
Witter Gulch Road between Upper Bear Creek Road and Squaw Pass Road has been paved to make it arguably the most challenging road climb in the area. It also provides a very fast descent from Squaw Pass Road to Evergreen.
Work continues on the section of Guanella Pass in Park County. from the Clear Creek County border south to Grant.
A chip and seal surface has been added to the recently completed section of Guanella Pass in Clear Creek County. Despite early reports of dangerous riding for road cyclists due to loose gravel, the surface is now ‘clean’ again.

Peaks to Plains Trail
Bike Jeffco supported Clear Creek and Jefferson Counties in their applications for funding to build a 10′ wide multipurpose concrete trail alongside Clear Creek for 11.2 miles west of Golden.
We also made a number of field trips into the Canyon to understand the project better.

Colorado Strategic Highway Safety Plan
Bike Jeffco was represented in the review body for this State plan.

 

 

2015 – An Even Better Year?

 

Bike Lakewood
Bike Jeffco will help form a new subgroup focussed solely on improving bicycle facilities in the City of Lakewood.

Bowles Avenue and SW Plaza
Bike Jeffco will encourage the County to add striped bike lanes to the bike route between C-470 and the mall.
Bike Jeffco plans to work with the mall management company to make the mall, which is currently being upgraded, more bicycle friendly.

Bicycle Friendly Status for Jefferson County.
Bike Jeffco will work with the County to resubmit the application to achieve Bicycle Friendly Community Status.

New Bike Lanes.
The County plans to add bike lanes along McIntyre Street between 44th Avenue and 48th Avenue.
Bike Jeffco will continue to encourage the County to extend the bike lanes south to 32nd Ave. as well as add shoulders to 32nd Avenue between Youngfield Street and Golden.
The County plans to add bike lanes along Chatfield Avenue between Kendall Boulevard and Pierce Street. They are also considering bike lanes along portions of Pierce Street between Bowles Avenue and Chatfield Avenue.

West Line Bikeway
Bike Jeffco will work to improve the signage along and close to the route. We will encourage the City of Lakewood to install a dedicated secton of bikeway between Kipling Street and Oak Street.

El Rancho – Genesee Link
CDOT has assured Bike Jeffco that sufficient funding will be found to allow construction of this link in 2015.

C-470 Widening
Bike Jeffco is concerned that the proposal to add lanes to C-470 between I-25 and Kipling Parkway will degrade the existing bikeway  with regard to noise and pollution. Working with Bicycle Douglas County, Bike Jeffco is producing a proposal of upgrades and safeguards to the bikeway to submit to the design team.

More Rest Areas
Bike Jeffco plans to look at enhancing the new rest area at Phillipsburg and establishing more rest areas at much needed locations on popular routes.

Consistent Signage
Bike jeffco will work with all jurisdictons in the County to establish consistent signage for cyclists showing locations, directions and mileage.


 

Coal Creek Canyon
Bike Jeffco successfully lobbied CDOT to include shoulders on the section of Coal Creek Canyon (SH72) that is to be rebuilt after it was destroyed in the floods of 2013 – subject to Right of Way and environmental clearances.

Bear Creek Canyon
Bike Jeffco is lobbying CDOT to complete the partial climbing shoulder in Bear Creek Canyon (SH74) west of Morrison to Evergreen.

2016 US Pro Challenge Route
Bike Jeffco plans to organize a group of interested local government bodies to lobby for a new stage through Jefferson and Clear Creek Counties culminating in a mountain top finish in Clear Creek County.

Peaks to Plains Trail
Bike Jeffco would like to see the pace of construction increased on the Jefferson County section in Clear Creek Canyon. We would also like to see an extension planned through Adams County to provide easy access to/from Denver International Airport. This could provide a major boost to bicycle tourism in the State.

Mt Evans Road (SH103)
CDOT plans to resurface the road and add a bicycle climbing lane between Idaho Springs and Echo Lake Lodge.

100th Avenue
Bike Jeffco will continue to lobby the City of Westminster to add shoulders to this dangerous stretch of highway.

RTD Gold Line Bicycle Access
Bike Jeffco will work with interested parties in Wheat Ridge and Arvada to plan access routes to the new rail line to be opened in 2016 and to plan a bike commuter route to downtown Denver.

Golden Gate Canyon Road
Bike Jeffco will continue to lobby for a climbing shoulder between Golden and the County line on this scenic but unsafe road.

 

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Rolling Into 2014…lots of opportunities to make things happen !

In 2013, we had a mixed bag of bicycling advocacy successes for Jefferson County cyclists.

 

  • ·         The bikeway alongside the ‘W’ light rail line opened, providing a continuous route between the Oak Street station in Lakewood and the South Platte bikeway. Signage is somewhat lacking and that issue is being addressed. A safe link to the C-470 bikeway and an on-street route to the end of the line in Golden are being pursued.
  • ·         The crumbling section of Squaw Pass Road in Clear Creek County has been completely rebuilt and now rides ‘like butter’. A climbing shoulder has been added. Witter Gulch Road linking into Squaw Pass Road for riders from Evergreen will be paved this coming Spring.
  • ·         The repaving of the Clear Creek County side of Guanella Pass is now complete. The route offers a smooth albeit challenging climb to the summit (el. 3557m/11669ft)
  • ·         Jefferson County agreed to the setting up of a much needed bicyclists’ rest area at Phillipsburg in Deer Creek Canyon – complete with PortaPotty. A Saturday traffic count by Bike Jeffco in June showed 881 bicycles passing through the location in 12 hours.
  • ·         State Highway 93 (Golden – Boulder) now has shoulders between SH72(Coal Creek Canyon) and SH128. Boulder County has plans to extend the shoulders to the Boulder city boundary, thereby providing a continuous bike route between the Golden and Boulder.
  • ·         The construction of the El Rancho – Genesee link, to avoid riding on I-70, has been delayed due to lack of funding.
  • ·         As a key link in the County Bike/Ped plan, Jefferson County Transportation staff proposed the restriping of the western section of Bowles Avenue to include bike lanes. The County Commissioners have yet to be convinced.
  • ·         The September floods destroyed sections of SH72 in Coal Creek Canyon. Bike Jeffco is lobbying CDOT to add shoulders in the long term reparations.
  • ·         Despite acknowledgement of the dangers in riding popular routes such as 32nd Ave. and 100th Ave., Jefferson County has yet to fund shoulders on these routes.

 

Perhaps the most important but intangible outcome of 2013 has been the changing attitude by the County to the acceptance of bicycles as part of the solution to our transportation issues. While cities such as Arvada, Golden and Lakewood have been quietly adding bicycle friendly facilities in recent years, and getting national recognition for doing so, the County is now getting on board and proposing low cost projects such as the restriping of Bowles Avenue mentioned above. This is in keeping with a demographic shift which shows reduced car ownership and vehicle miles driven in the Denver metro area in 2013.

 

2014 will provide us with plenty of challenges. I hope that you will join us in making the Jefferson and Clear Creek Counties better places for bicyclists.

 

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Bike Jeffco December 10 Meeting

While Arvada, Golden and Lakewood continue to add bicycle lanes to make their cities even more bicycle friendly, Jefferson County Commissioners Rosier and Griffin have shown reluctance to follow suit by adding bicycle lanes to Bowles Avenue – a key East West route connecting residential areas and activity centers that is currently unsafe for bicyclists.

Analysis by County staff has shown minimal degradation in the level of service to motorized vehicles by making these additions.

Many years ago, area residents voted to pay a local sales tax for transportation improvements including road widening and new bicycle facilities. Drivers have enjoyed the widening of Bowles Avenue for a number of years yet some of our County Board are hesitant to implement the bicycle part of the agreement.

This short sightedness is contrary to the current trend in transportation thinking away from the dominance of the single occupancy automobile to a more balance multi-modal approach of pedestrians, bicyclists, public transportation and automobiles.

The County has organized an Open House to show the project plans:
Wednesday, December 4th 4:30pm – 7:30pm
Dakota Ridge High School
13399 West Coal Mine Avenue, Littleton

This is a key policy battle that could dictate the future expansion of bikeways in the County. Even if you do not ride in the S. Jeffco area, please attend and show your support for better bike facilities throughout the County. Our success depends on you.

‘In other news’, anyone who has ridden the new bikeway, parallel to the ‘W’ light rail line between Oak Street station and the South Platte River trail will have experienced the navigational and occasionally physical challenges associated with riding this route. Bike Jeffco is working with the City of Lakewood to correct the problems.

At the recent County Transportation Advisory and Advocacy Group meeting, attended by everyone in transportation administration in the County, the wider problem of bikeway signage was raised. While Denver and Littleton have their designated ‘D’ and ‘L’ routes respectively, Jeffco is sadly lacking.

Do we need ‘J’ routes? Should we expand the ‘D’ route system which already leaks into Jeffco?

Should we post the major climbs in the foothills with stats of length/gradient/altitude as they do in Europe?

At our December meeting, bring your ideas of what you would like to see – or details of what you have seen elsewhere.

The meeting will be held at the Jefferson County Administration & Courts Building, Tuesday December 10th, 7:00pm – 9:00pm.

See you there.

n Dave Evans

n Chair Bike Jeffco

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Reducing Cyclist – Vehicle Confrontations… Notes from Dave Evans, Chair, Bike Jeffco

At last month’s meeting, we had an interesting discussion about anti-cyclist rage. In particular, there appears to be an emerging profile of the typical anti-cyclist ‘rager’. Looking at recent incidents in the Denver area, the rager is a middle age to elderly white male driving a large pickup truck along a narrow road.

By now, I’m sure that most of you are aware of the cause of this rage – the cyclist or group of cyclists who ride(s) completely oblivious to other vehicles, to traffic laws and to their surroundings. But what can happen when this irresponsibility is confronted by a rager? The answer is anything.

Sometimes, there does not have to be a reason for provocation however – as was experienced at our recent vehicle count. In the rager’s eyes, you, as a cyclist, are responsible for the behavior of every other cyclist on the road.

How should we handle the situation? The key here is to remain calm and let the rager see that beneath that lycra and helmet is a real person. Removing your helmet is a good idea. Sometimes reasoned discussion  is possible. Be prepared to be accused of interrupting traffic on ‘his’ road, not paying taxes to build and maintain ‘his’ road and trespassing on his property in search of a bathroom.

When reasoned discussion is not possible, point out that you are not breaking any laws and that he should take up his case with the relevant lawmakers.

In the extreme case of threats, either physically direct or with a vehicle, take notes and report it immediately to the relevant police authority. In areas where cell phone reception is poor or non-existent, Bike Jeffco is working to have more emergency phones installed. Jeffco Sheriffs’ Office takes any such threat very seriously.

With the ever decreasing drop in the cost and weight of HD video cameras, some cyclists are taking to mounting one on their helmets. The latest generation of cameras are of sufficient quality to record the license plate of the vehicle that did not give you the required 3 feet clearance or hurled insults or anything else from the window as it passed. With a sufficiently large memory card installed, these cameras are capable of recording a full day’s ride. Such videos are permissible as evidence in a court of law.

Bike Jeffco is working to reduce these confrontations by lobbying to get more shoulders and rest areas built on popular routes, by working with the Sherriff’s’ office to increase patrols and by education.

Unfortunately, these confrontational encounters will still happen. Do NOT become part of the problem.

With the long evenings perfect for riding, Bike Jeffco will not meet in July but we will be back in business Tuesday August 13th 7:00pm at the Jeffco Government Center.

 

Happy riding.

Dave Evans

Chair, Bike Jeffco

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RTD’s FasTracks West Line Rail – Saturday April 27, 2013

1westrail-bike West Line Bikeway…come ride it !

The West Line Bikeway parallels the RTD West Rail line, and provides access points to go from the bikeway to the light rail stops.  RTD has posted a “how to take your bike on the train” video on their website.  And while the train rides are free on Saturday, April 27th, you’ll need to buy a ticket to take your bike on the train after that time.

To celebrate the opening of RTD’s FasTracks West Rail Line, there will be a Jefferson County Government/Golden Station station party from 10 AM – 3 PM on Saturday, April 27th in the Memorial Garden behind the Jefferson County Administration and Courts Facility, 100 Jefferson County Parkway.  The theme for the Jeffco campus is “Outdoor Adventure & Recreation.”  Look for a lot of interactive activities for families, Open Space information, and Bike Jeffco !

Bike Jeffco will be hosting a booth at the party.  Several Bike Jeffco members have ridden the new West Line Bikeway, and we’ve developed both a printed map of the route and a digital version that you can download from Map My Ride (thanks to Mike and Cynthia Raber for digitally mapping the route).

MapMyRide •    http://mapmyride.com/routes/view/196181398

Note:  Google Maps of the Bikeway initially suggested using Simms Street.  All of the Bike Jeffco members who have ridden this pathway suggest the use of Quail Street instead as it is lower volume traffic and more bike friendly.    The route shifts over to the bike path at the Taj and on to Illinois Street to ride to the center of Golden.  Google Maps now reflects use of Quail Street also.

 

 

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Next Meeting: August 13th, 7 PM, Jefferson County Courthouse, Rm 1564

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Cyclists Have Rights

In response to the tragic death of Sidney Johnson in October of 2011,  a group of concerned citizens have formed an organization focused on safe cycling routes in northern Jefferson County.   Their website can be found here:   www.cyclistshaverights.org

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Flying a Bike

Flying a BikeIn May I traveled by air with my bike for the first time.    I was meeting a friend to ride L’Etape du California 2011 – the most difficult ride I’ve done yet, but that’s another story.

It all went very smoothly, though there were many logistical details.  I learned a lot and made a mistake or two:   Here are some tips in case you plan to fly with your bike.   (Mistakes in bold)

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Is it legal to ride your bike outside of the bike lane?

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Cify of Golden proposes Jefferson Bikeway

The City of Golden today (May 20) officially offered to acquire a 2.76-mile stretch of right way along Indiana Street that is currently part of the Rocky Flats National Wildlife Refuge.  The City’s offer will allow it to create what it will call the Jefferson Bikeway, as well as to provide needed roadway improvements on the Indiana Street corridor and protect the City and region from the impacts of unmitigated toll road construction.

Read more here:  Jefferson Bikeway Press Release

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