Urban Trails Committee hoping for plan update adoption

By: Joseph Dames Email
By: Joseph Dames Email

GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (KKCO) -- Updating the Grand Valley's bike trails and making sure we continue to improve the trails network as we the city grows is an important part of community transportation. But the plan is being revised after it failed to pass the planning commission last night.

Last night's result wasn't what the Urban Trails Committee had expected and officials say they're now working to clarify the plan.

"I want them to be able to ride or walk to school, and there are lots of kids in town in Grand Junction who can't do that", says Jennifer Fox-Colwell, a mother of two little ones. Colwell says a walkable and bike-able community is something she wants to pass along to her children and that there just aren't enough of those types of trails around.

More importantly, there are not enough trails that are safe.

“There aren't sidewalks for them, bike routes, nor bike paths, so they don't have any safe ways to get to school", says Fox-Colwell.

Those are key elements the Urban Trails Master Plan is hoping to incorporate. Urban Trails committee members say that's the only thing they added to the updated trail plan presented to the commission last night.

“Everything that we've done to the update of that master plan is add bike lanes, sidewalks, and we looked at safe routes to school and routes for commuters to ride bikes across the grand valley", said Julie Sabin, of Urban Trails Committee.

But with a large amount of community turnout at last night's meeting, much of it in strong opposition to the part of the plan involving trails along canals, the commission felt it couldn't approve the plan without additional clarification for the community.

“Back when they did the master plan back in 1997, and it was accepted and is in place, has trails on the canal banks as a planning tool", said Sabin.

So while the canals have always been part of the plan the commissioners said last night simply because they're a part of the past doesn't mean they should necessarily be a part of the future.

Urban Trails committee members say the next step comes September 18th, with a public hearing. Organizers hope the hearing will include participation from all the parties involved to clarify the issue.

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