Our View: Time for city to take lead

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Editorial Board, May 11 through Sept. 21, 2011

  • Scott Stanford, general manager
  • Brent Boyer, editor
  • Tom Ross, reporter
  • Laura Schmidt, community representative
  • Jim Miller, community representative

Contact the editorial board at 970-871-4221 or editor@SteamboatToday.com. Would you like to be a member of the board? Fill out a letter of interest now.

Medical marijuana might draw the largest crowd to Centennial Hall on Tuesday, but it won’t be the City Council agenda issue with the biggest potential long-term impact to Steamboat Springs.

That designation goes to Agenda Item E-5, an update from the Bike Town USA Initiative that will include a presentation of a draft Community Cycling Plan. Bike Town USA representatives hope to get the council’s support for the draft plan, and so do we. But more than simply giving lip service to a plan that lays out how our community, without significant infrastructure improvements, can improve safety and the quality of life for residents while also establishing a sustainable and potentially lucrative economic driver for the summer and fall months, the City Council needs to take the lead in endorsing and ultimately adopting the plan. It’s time to put action behind words.

The significance of the Community Cycling Plan extends far beyond the number of trails for mountain bikers or how many bike racks line Lincoln Avenue. The plan is the result of more than a year of work from groups including the city of Steamboat Springs, Routt County, the Steamboat Springs Chamber Resort Association, the U.S. Forest Service, the Colorado Division of Wildlife, Steamboat Ski and Resort Corp., Routt County Riders, the Steamboat Springs Economic Development Council and others. It calls for action as important and logical as using a complete streets approach in transportation planning so that children, teens and adults can safely ride their bikes throughout the community. It emphasizes outreach programs that promote safety for cyclists and motorists. It seeks to develop a comprehensive marketing and communications plan that, combined with the other initiatives, would brand Steamboat Springs as Bike Town USA and finally define our summer tourism economy.

There’s little not to like about the Bike Town USA Initiative and the comprehensive Community Cycling Plan. The plan encourages leveraging existing infrastructure to improve our community for current and future generations, and it does so without requiring significant expenses relative to the potential return on investment.

We’ve already seen the explosion in cycling among residents in the past few years. Anyone who spent a couple of minutes downtown Saturday saw it for themselves. What’s not to like about a healthy activity that encourages alternative forms of transportation, fosters a strong sense of community and is a perfect fit for our active mountain lifestyle? That it can drive tourism from a lucrative demographic of visitors makes it a no-brainer.

This is the rare initiative that can define and cement a City Council’s legacy in the community. We call on the council to stand firmly behind the Community Cycling Plan and to help make its exciting vision a reality.

Comments

Fred Duckels 2 years, 10 months ago

Will marijuana and/or bicycles prevail in our future?

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sledneck 2 years, 10 months ago

"... and make its exciting vision a reality." The vision of the anointed.

The "community cycling plan" will give great political cover to city council to once again delve into matters far outside the domain of gubbermint. Councils being a great example of how it is far easier to concentrate power than knowledge.

If you want to ride a bike ride it. Why does that require a freakin act of congress?

"Half the harm that is done in this world is due to people who want to feel important... They justify it because they are absorbed in the endless struggle to think well of themselves." T.S. Eliot

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Scott Wedel 2 years, 10 months ago

Sometimes I wonder if there is a difference between farce and community initiatives. Is the goal to make a difference that can be observed or to spend time in meetings to come up with many pages of documentation demonstrating they all agree with each other?

That nothing substantial will be done is guaranteed when the ultimate goal is marketing: "It seeks to develop a comprehensive marketing and communications plan that, combined with the other initiatives, would brand Steamboat Springs as Bike Town USA and finally define our summer tourism economy."

And cycling will never define the summer tourism economy because cycling is more of something that is enjoyed while visiting and not a primary reason to visit a place. Our summer tourism economy is defined by EVENTS whether they be soccer or softball tournaments, marathons, or bike races.

How about a simple goal of "safe bike access to local schools and thus bike lanes on Amethyst"?

The bump outs on Lincoln are a cyclist's nightmare forcing cyclists back into the flow of traffic while many drivers don't recognize the impediment and thus are surprised when the cyclist is forced left. And neither Oak St or Yampa is a good alternative as neither have clear bike lanes and Oak has too many stop signs.

And this "complete streets" sounds great until the economy improves and a developer requests an actual subdivision. Then we will find out how much of the subdivision will have to be asphalt and concrete from the streets, sidewalks, bike paths and alleys.

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beentheredonethat 2 years, 10 months ago

or a simple goal of "safe bike access to local schools, and local businesses and thus bike lanes on Amethyst and connecting to west steamboat homes"?

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Scott Wedel 2 years, 10 months ago

Beentheredonethat, Well, I don't know if we want to overload them with projects.

There is nothing new about what needs to be done to make this area more friendly to bikes, just a lack of will to do anything. Bike lanes on Amethyst have been an identified need for many years, but the narrow paved street through the much larger right of way gives the property owners the right of way to use as a larger front yard. So there was homeowner opposition that overrode the needs of cyclists. Which, in theory, is what Bike Town USA is supposed to demonstrate - that needs of cyclists are given high priority and some property owners do not get veto authority over the use of the right of way in front of their houses.

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1999 2 years, 10 months ago

Sometimes I wonder if there is a difference between farce and community initiatives. Is the goal to make a difference that can be observed or to spend time in meetings to come up with many pages of documentation demonstrating they all agree with each other?

Scott..I totally agree..this entire initiative seems to be about some self important people promoting what they think should happen. read that as lots of laws and meetings.

it truly is a farce.

do we the people get a choice in all this . It seems to be rammed down our throats. do we get a vote because I assure you...laws will be put into place wether we like them or not.

this is all about marketing NOT ABOUT actually making steamboat a bike SAFE town.

DO WE GET A VOTE ON THIS?????

I saw in the new bike mag that they are already calling SBS bike town USA>

WHY IS THIS GETTING RAMMED DOWN OUR THROATS????

WHY AREN"T WE GETTING A CHOICE???

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