Boulder County - Letter to the Cycling Community

October 10, 2013
Dear Boulder County Cyclists and Cycling Community:

We are writing to ask for your patience and cooperation as Boulder County continues its extensive flood recovery efforts. We know that cycling opportunities throughout the county have decreased due to the sheer magnitude of damage to our roadway system caused by the historic September flooding.

We also know that these extenuating conditions have been frustrating and have adversely impacted the way you live, travel, and recreate.

Since the flood, it has been the county’s priority to help our most impacted residents gain safe access to their homes. We’ve done this by working to repair affected roads as quickly as possible. In order for our crews to work to restore road access to all users, we have asked both motorists and bicyclists to limit their use of county roads west of the foothills.

Despite our public pleas, however, we continue to experience traffic congestion that is impeding our road work in these heavily damaged areas.

We are asking for this limitation on all modes of travel so that local residents, emergency responders, utility providers and road maintenance work crews can engage in essential rebuilding activities

In addition to this request, we are also particularly concerned about unsafe cycling conditions that will continue as extensive road repairs are made throughout our mountain communities.

These unsafe conditions include:
• Increased volumes of heavy construction and road maintenance equipment along our compromised roadways
• Steep drop-offs along many roadways from washed-away ditches
• Destroyed, damaged or washed-away roadway shoulders that typically serve to separate vehicle and bicycle travel, allow pull-offs by cyclists, and enable safe passing by vehicles
• Persistent debris on roadways from existing and recurring rock slide activity

While these conditions are experienced by both motorists and bicyclists, bicyclists are much more likely to have their safety compromised by them. For this reason, the county has temporarily closed several roads to cycling while we work to restore our roadway infrastructure. We recognize this may not feel fair, but we believe these closures are necessary until our roads can properly function for all modes of travel.

Like you, we wish cycling opportunities could return to their pre-flood status more quickly. The county has invested considerably in developing its bicycle facilities, both on roads and regional trails, and is committed to encouraging bicycling and building roads that are safe for all users. We know how important this activity is for residents and visitors and how it adds significant value to our area.

Until we reconstruct the damaged roads so they are safe for all users, we encourage cyclists to use the east county roads that are open, or to take your bike on the bus or drive up Boulder Canyon with your bike and take advantage of the Peak to Peak Highway and stop in for lunch or coffee in Nederland.

As the weeks continue, we will keep you informed of roadway conditions on our website at

In addition, we will continue the discussion with you about how the county can help create safe, enjoyable cycling opportunities in Boulder County during this most unusual time.

As we go forward together, we thank you again for your understanding and patience.


George Gerstle

News Item: 


I sent the letter requesting

I sent the letter requesting "Reasonable Access to Roads" to each of our county commissioners and to George Gerstle, Director. I have not received so much as an acknowledgement from any of them, let alone a meaningful reply. If I do receive a reply, I will post it. I do encourage others to contact our elected officials and request a meaningful response. If we don't speak up, we won't be heard.

road closures

One of my friends exercised his god given right to ride a damaged road last week, hit a new pothole and spent four days in the hospital with two broken ribs and some cracked vertebrae. Having read all these comments about our "rights" I am reminded of the epitaph that read "he had the right of way." Enjoy those damaged roads.