Letters to the Editor
The proposed bike trail alignment along the old railroad from Catherine Bridge to Hooks Spur will not only threaten critical deer, elk, waterfowl, and eagle habitat, but will bypass thousands of residents, leaving them no safe and reasonable bicycle access to the bicycle trail. A trail following the Highway 82 right of way from Catherine Store to El Jebel could be constructed without crossing a single driveway or major obstacle other than Valley Road, and would provide direct access to the thousands of residents along both sides of this alignment. It would connect the Waldorf School and neighborhood to the Blue Lake and El Jebel trail systems, allowing access to their sports fields, as well as the new Eagle County ball fields and the Tree Farm park, all of which will be bypassed by the currently proposed alignment.
The currently proposed trail along the river will require seasonal closures for wildlife and, being at the foot of a steep north exposure, becomes snowbound earlier and remains snowbound later than does the bright and sunny Highway 82 right of way, which could be used almost all year-round.
Certainly, bike trail alignment criteria must weigh heavily on environmental aspects concerning wildlife needs, as well as providing nonmotorized commuter options to help reduce emissions. The currently proposed trail alignment fails on both these criteria. It does little to reduce emissions when you have to load your bike in a car and drive to the bike trail. While the river is far more scenic than the highway alignment, it does not help any of the thousands of us between Catherine Store and Hooks Spur bike to the bus stop or the grocery store or the ball fields or favorite restaurants or any of the places many of us like to ride bikes. Why not save the scenic route for a primitive foot trail that would cost virtually nothing, and could easily be diverted around sensitive wildlife habitat while investing the expense of a paved trail where it will be the most useful to the most people, the most amount of time?
Strawberry Days is just around the corner, and I know that means summer is really under way in Glenwood. I just wanted to write and let you know that I am sorry I can’t be in attendance at the parade on June 17. It was great fun to walk the parade in 2004, but this year I have a conflict with legislative duties. I am serving as chairman of the interim Water Resources Review Committee, and we have our first meeting on June 16-17.
The committee is made up of 10 legislators that meet over the interim to study the key water resource issues facing our state. In fact, we will be touring transmountain diversion facilities in Pitkin, Eagle, Lake and Summit counties that day in conjunction with the Colorado Water Education Foundation Board of Directors (I am also a member of that board). It is critical that I see firsthand how these diversions work so that I can continue to fight for your interests in the legislature. I hope that everyone knows that I am a candidate for House District 61 and that I hope to serve you again as your representative. Have a great Strawberry Days!
Rep. Kathleen Curry
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