Bicycle ambassadors assist riders, walkers during detour | PostIndependent.com

Bicycle ambassadors assist riders, walkers during detour

Staff Report
Yellow-vested bicycle ambassadors with Glenwood Springs Bicycle Advocates gather atop the Grand Avenue Pedestrian Bridge on Aug. 15. Glenwood Springs Transportation Manager Tanya Allen, second from left, works with the volunteers to help cyclists and walkers during the Grand Avenue bridge detour. The ambassadors are, from left, Taz Brown, Allen, Sue Kuhn, Domenica Smith, Heather McGregor and Steve Smith.
Eric Kuhn |

Volunteer bicycle ambassadors wearing bright yellow vests are helping cyclists and walkers navigate the bike routes, sidewalks and streets of Glenwood Springs during the bridge detour.

“Cyclists have turned out by the hundreds to help reduce car traffic during the detour,” said Steve Smith, who is coordinating a dozen ambassadors through Glenwood Springs Bicycle Advocates. “These riders and walkers are showing a big effort, and it is making a positive difference.”

Glenwood Springs Bicycle Advocates is a new organization working closely with the city of Glenwood Springs to expand practical bicycling opportunities and to encourage residents to travel by bicycle for local work, school, shopping and appointments.

The ambassadors have been out during high-traffic times in the mornings and late afternoons, advising cyclists and walkers on how to reach their destinations using the best routes.

Ambassadors are stationed at key intersections on bike paths and street crossings across the city, including the Exit 114 roundabout, Eighth Street, the Grand Avenue Pedestrian Bridge and 23rd Street.

They are also observing bicycle and pedestrian travel patterns, fielding comments about safety concerns, helping with minor bike repairs, and handing out bicycling tip sheets and handlebar bells.

“Safety of cyclists and pedestrians is our top priority,” Smith said. “The city of Glenwood Springs has already responded to several of our suggestions for safety improvements along the River Trail with new signs and safety mirrors.”

“Cyclists also have a responsibility to be safe,” he said. “Pedestrians and other riders appreciate a voice or bell warning from approaching cyclists. It’s important to slow down and share the trail, for all users to feel safe even with this huge increase in bicycle traffic.”

Glenwood Springs Bicycle Advocates also encourages all cyclists to invest in a bike helmet and wear it whenever they are riding.

The group is planning for increased bike ambassador presence once school starts Sept. 5, and new volunteers are welcome to join. To learn more or to become a bicycle ambassador, send an email to glenwoodbikes@rof.net or call Smith at 618-8264.