SInce the slopes are grassy rather than snow-packed, at least one Colorado ski town is embracing a different type of outdoor recreationists. While Black Hawk is banning bikes, Breckenridge is throwing out the welcome mat. Freshly painted bike lanes along Main Street and other roads reflect the town’s efforts to become one of the state’s most bicycle- and eco-friendly communities. Soon, the north and south Highway 9 entrances to Breckenridge will include large signs boasting the town’s accessibility to cyclists. Smaller signs throughout the town are planned to help guide people to their destinations.
These changes are anticipated to boost the town’s ranking with the League of American Bicyclists, which rates communities from bronze up to silver, gold or platinum based on how cyclist-friendly they are.
Vail is ranked bronze, Steamboat Springs is silver and Boulder is platinum. The criteria for rankings include engineering, education, encouragement and evaluation, according to www.bikeleague.org.
Breckenridge is already praised for its “safe routes to schools” program, access to mountain-bike trails and bike parks as well as existing way-finding signs, but officials want to rank even higher.
Waterproof trail maps now available for $10 in local bike shops and the town welcome center include the latest trails and guides for areas in and near Breckenridge as well as other parts of the county.
The new bike lanes on Main have narrowed motorized traffic, and this is expected to reduce speeds, which is also seen as a plus by town officials.
And the town government encourages staff to sub-out their cars for bikes when possible. Bicycles are offered for in-town errands, the police department has bicycle patrols, and even building inspectors have been pedaling to site visits.
The new trail map, trail conditions and other features are available at the town website, www.townofbreckenridge.com.