Bike routes connect SW Gwood, rest of town
Many cyclists live in Glenwood Park, Park West, Park East, Cardiff Glen and nearby neighborhoods. Whether old hands at bicycle commuting or first-timers, many are taking to their bicycles with the Grand Avenue bridge closure.
At first glance, those neighborhoods seem far from the confusion and congestion downtown and along the vehicle detour through West Glenwood. But almost every local trip is affected in some way by the bridge project.
Riding bicycles for many local trips — school, shopping, work, meetings — will prove more convenient than driving, even when trip ends are far apart.
Starting point for this bicycle route guide is the corner of Midland Avenue and Mount Sopris Drive. From there:
• Ride north along the wide, landscaped bicycle path and across the bridge spanning Three Mile Creek. (Once school opens, watch for students and their parents on this stretch 8-8:30 a.m. and 3:30-4 p.m.)
Warning: Watch out for arriving and emerging car traffic at Mountain Market; drivers are obliged to yield to bicycles and pedestrians on the path but don’t always do so.
• Once past Mountain Market, two primary routes are available:
Route A – For a tranquil, easygoing trip, duck onto the River Trail that slopes rather steeply down to the Roaring Fork River and continues along the river to 27th Street (connections from there described below).
Route B – If you are in more of a hurry, continue along Midland using either the asphalt-paved sidewalk or the wide shoulder/two-way bicycle lane, then down Cardiff Bridge Road to the bridge over the river.
Warning: Watch for cars rolling through the stop signs on either intersection with Park West Drive.
Once across the bridge, follow Old South Grand north to 27th and 23rd streets, riding either on the sidewalk or at the right edge of the street. (You also can turn right — east — at 33rd Street and zig-zag through the neighborhood for a connection to the Rio Grande Trail.)
• All route options connect to 27th Street, where you can carefully cross Glen Avenue to the regional bus park-and-ride or continue north to other destinations.
Warning: Watch out for cars at 27th, especially those trying to turn right (south) onto Glen Avenue; many drivers are not attentive to trail users. Follow the traffic signals or crosswalks, and ride defensively.
• At 23rd Street, all routes converge, with three options for your next move. Continue north on the River Trail or on the sidewalks along Grand Avenue, or carefully cross Grand.
• The River Trail continues to the confluence with the Colorado River, with connections east at Coach Miller Drive/high school, at 12th Street and at Eighth Street, and with a connection westward to Midland via the new Red Mountain Bicycle-Pedestrian Bridge.
The newly marked bicycle lanes along Pitkin Avenue north of 14th Street help you reach downtown destinations.
• 23rd Street east of Grand Avenue passes Alpine Bank and other nearby businesses and continues to the marked bicycle lane along Blake Avenue. Ride that lane north to the hospital and other medical offices, grocery and other midtown businesses, and downtown.
• Blake and Pitkin bicycle lanes connect, via Seventh and Eighth streets respectively, to the new bicycle-pedestrian bridge across the Colorado River to the Hot Springs Pool and other north-side destinations.
Enjoy your ride.
Join Glenwood Springs Bicycle Advocates in riding and promoting local bicycle use. For more information, call 970-618-8264.