Upcoming Toll Road Leaves Bikes Behind

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Thanks to a 303cycling reader, Jason Callegari, for writing up this story. If you have a story you want to share, drop us a line or two. Thanks Jason!!

On Wednesday December 16th, The Denver Regional Council of Governors (DRCOG) will meet to hear testimony regarding the planned Toll Road between Arvada and Broomfield.  The proposed Toll Road will have its largest impact on the Arvada, Golden, Boulder, Superior and Broomfield communities.  This is not a new debate, however it is a new opportunity for voices from the bike community to be heard.

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Much of the debate over the Toll Road centers around proposed economic development.  In these tough economic times, it is important that communities seek new solutions to bolster their economic security, however the Toll Road is neither the only nor the best option. 

Why do bicycles continue to be left behind?  If tax payer money needs to be used -and the current proposal calls for up to 1 billion in tax payer money- then we need a multi modal design that takes into account pedstrian, bicycle, RTD and cars - serving everyone's needs.  The proposed toll road does not do this (they would only set aside some right-of-way for someone else to build in the future) . Its proponents acknowledge that it would cause increased congestion on S.H. 93 and Indiana St.  If you bike or drive Highway 93 you know that it has little to no shoulder, tight curves, no split median, plenty of wildlife crossings and frequent snow closures. Funding the proposed Toll Road would not leave any funds left to address these important issues.

Luckily, officials from Golden and Boulder have outlined a plan which argues for a much smarter use of taxpayer money.  The proposal titled, Introducing the Corridor Plan - Safe Sustainable Connections (www.fix93.org), recognizes 93 for what it is:  a vital road for access to institutions of higher learning, research, and new energy, along with vital open space and beautiful views.  The plan calls for a bicycle and pedestrian route between Golden and Boulder, widened shoulders, a divided median, improved RTD usage, wildlife crossings, improved interchanges with U.S. 6, improved snow fences and more.  This seems like a much better use of our hard earned money, and is forecasted to cost far less.

I look forward to having safe bicycle access to all of the great mountain biking and some of my favorite road bike rides that the S.H. 93 corridor offers.   However, this will only happen if we as bicyclists continue to make our voices heard arguing for smarter, multi modal growth that serves everyones' needs.  Represent the bicycling community Wednesday at the DRCOG meeting, 6:30 p.m., Colorado History Museum, Boettcher Auditorium, 1300 Broadway, Denver.  Register to testify by contacting Casey Collins at DRCOG CCollins@drcog.org or leave your comment online before December 16th.
   

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4 Comments

Beware of toll roads - often

Beware of toll roads - often the cities enter into an agreement with the toll road operator that requires the city to make up for any lowered toll revenue that results from drivers taking municipal/county roads instead of the tollway. To avoid having to make those payments, the city/county will shunt traffic to the toll road by closing down alternate routes.

Bike Path

Route 93 is such a dangerous road -- I feel that cyclists have a place, but would prefer to see a totally separated bike path. Route 93 and the Boulder Canyon are "non biking" routes in my mind and I cringe when I see fellow cyclists on those routes. However, a path would be welcomed, and could make a nice and safe route between Boulder and Golden.

You are right and wrong

Every cyclist has a different intention when out riding... Family riding, athletic training, commuting to work.... just living because of 5 DUI's, etc. A separated bike lane is nice for some of those categories but I would not want to see a sport cyclist doing intervals on a separated bike lane, use the road for that and flip side, doing a family ride on 93 is not a preferred place to ride. I guess the question is in terms of accommodating cyclists on Boulder Canyon and 93, what majority type of cyclist would use that route?

Ideally there would be both and the separated bike path does not need to follow 93, there is tons of open land a multi use path could cut through as it winds down to Golden, Arvada or ??

Safety

As the contentious rhetoric and debate about future project continues, please make Route 93 safer because people are dying on the road.

1. Schedule annual re-painting of the road with reflective paint.
- Winter snow plowing scrapes off paint.

2. Install more roadside reflector posts.
- Many are missing and could be replaced.

3. Add rumple-strips along the sides of the road and in the middle.

Can we at least agree to please take care of what we have!

Below is a route-93 petition which seems to get more signatures each time there is a fatality on route-93.
http://www.gopetition.com/petition/42684/signatures.html

Here is a link to the recent nighttime accident that killed two CU girls when they collided with an elderly couple:
http://www.dailycamera.com/ci_17311305

Please write to the folks below asking for these simple safety maintenance issues to be addressed.
http://www.fix93.org/2007/07/drcog-representatives.html