Motors, trails don’t mix, council decides |

Motors, trails don’t mix, council decides

Muscle power rather than motor power soon may become the rule for getting around on Glenwood Springs’ trail system.A sharply divided City Council has voted to ban motorized vehicles on city trails, with exceptions including emergency and maintenance vehicles, and those used by the disabled.The ban is still subject to a second reading before council, which approved it 4-3 last week.The council minority included Dave Merritt, Larry Beckwith and Joe O’Donnell.”I guess I’m concerned with being more elitist on the trail,” Merritt said.Instead of addressing just gas-powered vehicles, the measures also bans electric bikes, which are slower than most other bikes, he said.Beckwith said public funds were used to build trails as alternative means of transportation, “and now we want to say that only certain people can use the trails. I don’t think that’s right at all.”The ban comes on the heels of the city cutting bus service to south Glenwood. Now, people using such vehicles will have to use Midland Avenue or will be forced to drive, Merritt said.City resident Michelle Vogel said she relies on her electric scooter to get around town via its river trail. She said it’s not safe to use sidewalks filled with pedestrians or to travel on Grand Avenue.She said motorized-vehicle users who cause problems on the trail should be ticketed, as an alternative to the ban.But other council members said motorized vehicles belong on streets, and that noise isn’t the issue. Council member Bruce Christensen said the vehicles aren’t safe on the trails.”It’s the combination of mass and speed that poses the danger on the river trail,” he said.Mayor Larry Emery said motorized vehicles aren’t appropriate for trails used by “a mix of walkers, dogs and toddlers.”Supporters of the ban also said new bike lanes now being discussed for many city streets might provide a good alternative for vehicles such as motorized scooters.However, Merritt said new state legislation awaiting only a signature from Gov. Bill Owens would make devices like Vogel’s illegal on streets as well.Contact Dennis Webb: 945-8515, ext.

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