Golden features bike lanes, cycling safety programming

Posted 9/11/19

People in Golden love to ride their bicycles. And it’s not uncommon for people from elsewhere to come to Golden to enjoy a bike ride. Not to mention mountain bike trails, the city’s 15 miles of …

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Golden features bike lanes, cycling safety programming

Posted

People in Golden love to ride their bicycles.

And it’s not uncommon for people from elsewhere to come to Golden to enjoy a bike ride.

Not to mention mountain bike trails, the city’s 15 miles of bike lanes and 30 miles of paved shared-use paths, Golden and its nearby area offers some iconic rides — from the challenging Lookout Mountain climb to a cruise in downtown Golden right alongside Clear Creek.

“Cycling safety is an important component to the city’s Complete Streets philosophy,” said Golden City Manager Jason Slowinski.

Golden adopted its Complete Streets policy in 2010. What this means is the city prioritizes the need to accommodate all modes of travel on Golden’s streets, including motorized vehicles, bicyclists, pedestrians and public transit. Complete Streets are typically designed to include wider sidewalks, bike facilities and lanes, pedestrian-friendly intersections, enhanced landscaping and public transit accommodations.

A number of Complete Streets projects within the city have already been completed, and Golden will “continue to add bike lanes and off-street bike paths whenever and wherever possible,” said Rick Muriby, Golden’s planning manager.

MORE: Safety advocates seek to stop cyclist fatality trend

In addition to Complete Streets, Golden advocates and supports the Colorado Department of Transportation’s Safe Routes to School so all of Golden’s schoolchildren can ride a bike or walk to school safely.

Golden can be considered a cycling-friendly city. Local organizations and businesses put on community bike rides, and the city implemented its Golden Bike Library — where people can rent a bike for two hours for free — a few years ago. This asset has become a popular attraction among tourists and residents alike. And Golden is home to the Golden Optimists Club’s bicycle recycle program, where anyone can get a bike for a low fee, which is then used to support the nonprofit’s mission of getting donated bikes, repairing them and then getting them back out into the community.

These are in addition to the various bike safety programming available. The city conducts an annual Bike Rodeo to teach cycling skills to children, and a bicycle commuting class for adults, Muriby said. These are separate from the local businesses and organizations’ bicycle safety courses, which, often, are free or low cost and open to the general public.

The Golden Police Department does have to investigate an accident involving cyclists “from time to time,” said Deputy Chief Joe Harvey. “Some of those involve motor vehicles and some are single cyclist accidents.”

The most recent fatal accident involving a cyclist happened in February 2016, said Karlyn Tilley, the city’s spokeswoman. The cyclist misjudged a drop in elevation along the Clear Creek Trail and about a month later, died from “complications of that crash,” Tilley said.

It was a single cyclist accident and one else was involved, she added.

“Cycling in Golden is a daily occurrence and the motoring public is accustomed to sharing the roadway with cyclists,” Harvey said. “Riding a bike in Golden is not only common, but for the most part, very safe and a normal part of life in our community.”

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