$6.25 to run (or bike) at the Boulder Res?

Boulder Runner and Daily Camera columnist Clay Evans digs into inconsistent fees at the Boulder Res.
From Boulder Daily Camera

The only thing more irritating than a nonsensical rule is a nonsensical rule inconsistently applied and enforced. But even worse than that is a nonsensical, inconsistently applied rule that everyone agrees is stupid and should be changed.

I headed out on the warm morning of Aug. 17 for a run from IBM west along Monarch Road, then south along dirt roads skirting Boulder Reservoir, planning a loop route that would take me -- as it had uncountable times before -- through the west gate of the Rez, past the swimming beach and marina, then north along two dams and back to Tom Watson Park.

But this time, I was startled out of my late-summer running revelry just as I ran past the gatehouse when someone shouted at me.

"Sir" -- being called "sir" is one of the great, weary disappointments of later life -- "you have to pay the fee to go into the reservoir," said a perfectly pleasant teenage employee. "It's $6.25."

I have run that way, summer, fall, winter and spring, for well over a decade, and never been asked to pay for the privilege of trotting approximately 0.8 of a mile. Just passing through. That's about $7.80 per mile. Around a buck a minute, for me.

I drew faux pockets from my hips with pinched fingers.

"I don't carry money when I run," I said. "When did this start?"

"Just this summer."

I offered a choice description of the policy, "greedy" being the only part I can print here.

"You can always go back the way you came," the boy suggested.

So I did. My pace picked up a bit, fired by irritation. When I got home I emailed a couple of Boulder City Council members about the experience.

Fead the full story here.

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6 Comments

Soooo.............

That is pretty crazy! I've been riding the trail around the back of the res, over the hump and through the back gate for years. I guess my question is...who's going to be at the back gate of the marina to take your money? Might just have to try this.....I don't think they will be able to consistently enforce this.

Great point, but... a better

Great point, but... a better option would be for the park folks to realize that they shouldn't be charging runners or cyclists anyway, as they can easily just come in the back side without paying. Cherry Creek Reservoir and Chatfield Reservoir make no effort to collect money from runners or cyclists.

There is an old adage in the military that every sergeant or lieutenant learns early on: never issue an order you can't enforce.

While I certainly agree that

While I certainly agree that one should not "bust (the kids) chops" by any means, the idea is that the res is charging what is considered a large fee just to literally pass through to the other side. While in all technicality, your "using" the road....in reality, your not utilizing any of the actual amenities offered or maintained by the city. And let's face it, running or riding down the main road only to exit the other side is EXTRAORDINARILY low impact and certainly not fairly represented by the entry fee. Also, the fact that your only charged the fee as a runner or a cyclist at the main gate is not consistent with the fact that you can enter the res from two other locations via bike or foot at no cost at all. Thus...the conflict.