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.