Possible off-road bike path for Monument Road

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Hitting the trail is a key part of the Colorado lifestyle. but drivers and cyclists often have to share the road as they head to the same destinations.

Easing the dangers and tension which can come from sharing the road is the idea behind creating an off-road path from downtown to Colorado National Monument so everyone has their own space.

The Mesa Land Trust recently announced the idea for building a potential off-road bike path from downtown to the Colorado National Monument, a few residents think it's a great idea and hope for more bike paths to help make commuting safer as well as driving on roads.
But you'll have your chance to officially weigh in next week.

Creating a connecting path for cyclists from downtown to one of the biggest tourist attractions in the valley is what the mesa land trust is hoping to build.

"I think it would be a great idea, anytime we can add bike trails to get the bicyclist off the roads so they don't have to face the cars, is a great idea”, said Redlands resident Robin Heil.

"I ride my bike a lot, and i would love to just get on Broadway and have a safe bike path away from the cars along the shoulder where i could just go right into downtown”, said cyclist Susan Ouellette.

Bike paths such as the one proposed along monument road exist on other busy thoroughfares, like south camp road. The path doesn't keep all cyclists off the road and police officials say the new monument road path would help keep roads safer but riders won't be forced to use it.

"They don't have to use it, but it is encouraged, because it is safer for them, if they do decide to ride on the road, then they do have to follow all the laws as if they were riding on any other road. so they have to ride as far right as possible and you have to be riding with traffic and following all the other traffic laws", said Kate Porras, Grand Junction Police Department.

Downtown bike shop owner Chris Brown believes the plan is a good one, having heard scary tales from customers who ride along the road. As a downtown merchant, there's an economic benefit for improved transportation options to his front door.

"Just to provide that access will take 90% of the people off that road and clean it up... it's pretty dangerous."
"On a 45 mile an hour road with no shoulder it is pretty terrifying...so we really do need to address it between the Redlands community and the downtown community and how you get up there”, said Chris Brown of Brown Cycles.

Mesa Land Trust is hosting three public meetings to get public input.
The first meeting is February 26th from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Redlands middle school.
If you can't make it out to that one, there are two others on February 27th.
all of them are open to the public.

You can find out more about the monument road vision plan and those public meetings at the link posted below.