As Goldenites we tend to forget about the rest of the world and how they travel and commute throughout their communities. It shames me seeing lifted F150's, people driving two blocks to get the mail or go to work. I am not without blame here, I do, far too often drive when I could walk. I am trying to reduce my time in our vehicle. I do require it for work as i am back and forth from the mountain regularly but could I ride share, take community transpotation or another approach. The Town of Golden just received a rather large amount of money to be used for bike paths and pedestrian walkways. We need to ensure that we, as cyclists are taken into consideration when this money is spent. Our main challenge is getting over the downtown bridge. The bridge was built in the 50's without a thought to a bike lane. There is no room to create its own bike lane but we should be able to create a safe on-your-bikre passage here. While I have never been shy to make my presence known to vehicles as I drive over the bridge, usually riding down the middle of my lane we do have to take into consideration parents with small kids and more timid riders. Dana was riding over the bridge one day when one of our kids was still wee and in the Chariot. She was riding her 7spd town bike and began riding over the bridge. A car swung around the corner and cut it very close to the Chariot. Dana, fearing for our childs life, pulled further to the curb. One of teh wheels from the Chariot Child Carrier hit the curb and subsequently flipped he Chariot onto its side right on the bridge. The driver, oblivios to his actions continued on his way without even noticing the flipped child in the street. If he was a foot farther over towards the curb our child could be dead, without notice to that driver.
Golden Cyclists need to voice their opinions on this topic and should go into the Town Office to see the plan for which they intend to spend that money on. While it is important to have linked trails it should be stated that pedestrian safety is much more important of an issue than connecting a trail that is two kilometers from downtown. I hope to become involved with the plan. Unfortunately much of the planning is already done, without the formal consultation with commuters. I feel a considerable number of people would opt to ride or walk to work if there was a safe and simply approach to getting downtown. The pedestrian bridge does offer a great access and I do tend to go that way regularly BUT that does not help drivers to understand that bicycles are vehicles too.
Introducing good bike baths and access to downtown with improved bike rack placements will create an additional tool to get people out of their cars.
Next the bike shops need to get on board and offer two bikes to the community as commuting bikes. A mens and a womens edition are all trhat is needed. Fenders, rack, 3spd plain coloured and under $350. There are a number of choices out there. One of the most reasonable would be the KHS Green. A great value in a commuter. Cyclists are often just as rediculous as that guy in his jacked up truck. Riding around on a $3000 bike with their kids in the back. They are so paraniod that their bikes will get stolen that they drive instead. All you need are two wheels, not six inches of suspension to find your way through the streets of Golden. Sure we've got potholes but come on!
Finally we should create a community drop off point for old bikes where people can come in and pick out a used bike , fix it up themselves with the assistance of a qualified technician and walk out with a bike for under a $100. In order to get people riding again it has to be affordable and this technique is proven around the world. This action can be easily achieved now without even having a shop deal with it. I can't help[ but wonder what happened to all of those bikes at Charlie Beans place. I really hope they didn'yt all go to th edump. There could have been 100 communi9ty bikes available for FREE. The Community needs to start thinking about reusing and recycling of these old bikes. If there are enough of them around no one would need to steal them because everyone would have them.
Oh...and one more thing...let peopel pull bike sout of the dump. My townie that I've been riding for over five years now came out of there under a tarp and it pisses me off seeing all of those "zero emission vehicles" buried under dirt or crushed. We need to appeal to the dump that there should be a bike drop at the front end of the dump where bikes are cllected throughout the week and collected on the weekend for servicing to create yet more bikes for the community. Think...there are lots of options to promote healthy lifestyles and also to create transportation for members of the community without the capacity to do so on their own.
I'm done. I'm just starting to get pissesd off now.