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New Century Transportation

“Having a bicycle- and pedestrian-friendly infrastructure in place not only provides for transportation options,” said Betsy Jacobsen, CDOT bicycle and pedestrian coordinator, “it also provides for active living options and added tourism.”

The total economic benefit from bicycling in Colorado is more than $1 billion annually. This includes manufacturing, retail and tourism.

These numbers are based on a 1999 Colorado Department of Transportation statewide survey pertaining to personal and household travel habits and characteristics.

CDOT’s survey of mountain towns indicated that 699,000 visitors traveled to Colorado mountain resorts in 1998 and participated in bicycling activities. Approximately 70 percent of these bicyclists came to resort towns from out of state.

Tourists who engaged in bicycling during their vacation at a Colorado resort spent between $141 million and $193 million dollars.

Of the 699,000 who bicycled during their stay, 276,400 were attracted primarily by the availability of bicycling.

Another study conducted by the Urban Land Institute of four new pedestrian-friendly communities determined that homebuyers were willing to pay a $20,000 premium for homes in these communities compared to similar houses in surrounding areas.

It is expected that real estate values over the next 25 years will rise fastest in “smart communities” that incorporate traditional characteristics of successful cities including a mix of residential and commercial districts, active living options, and a “pedestrian-friendly configuration.”

Active Living by Design is a national program that establishes and evaluates innovative approaches to increase physical activity through community design, public policies and communications strategies. For additional information, go to http://www.activelivingbydesign.org.

Two free walkable-bikeable workshops

Two free walkable-bikeable workshops will feature Dan Burden of Walkable Communities Inc. The Oct. 21 workshop will be from 6-9 p.m. at Carbondale Town Hall and will focus on Community Design for Active Living.

On Oct. 22, “Creating a Bike/Walk Friendly Region: Great for Us and Great for the Economy” will be from 1-5 p.m. at the Glenwood Springs Community Center. This workshop will review design techniques for encouraging active living and methods for connecting regional trails with community transportation corridors. Also to be discussed is the role of bike networks in livability and desirability as a tourist destination and the progress toward linking Rifle to Aspen with a trail. Updates will be given from RFTA and other trail groups, and steps will be taken to create the foundation for a development/implementation plan for completing the Rio Grande Trail.

Sponsorship and partnerships for these free workshops was provided by: New Century Transportation Foundation, Colorado Department of Transportation, Roaring Fork Transportation Authority, city of Glenwood Springs, town of Carbondale, the Glenwood Springs Post Independent, Glenwood Springs Chamber Resort Association, Carbondale Community Chamber, LoVa, Roaring Fork Outdoor Volunteers, Mid-Valley Trails, Carbondale Trails Committee, Glenwood River Commission and the EOTC.

Cathy Tuttle is with the New Century Transportation Foundation. For more information and to RSVP, contact the New Century Transportation Foundation at 704-9200 or e-mail ctuttle@newcenturytrans.org.


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