Clear Creek Management Strategies

Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin Email this link

As Golden residents can attest, May and June signal the start of another busy summer season in Golden. This year, City officials anticipate activity levels that may exceed the norm for summertime in Golden. After many months of limited activities, interactions, and events due to the COVID-19 pandemic, people will likely seek to get out and participate in the many customary activities that they have missed. In Golden, that means outdoor recreation - especially along and in the popular Clear Creek.

After years of continued growth in activity in the Clear Creek corridor, this year the City will be introducing new measures aimed at improving conditions in the corridor so that all may experience equal amounts of enjoyment of Clear Creek and adjacent trails, parks, regardless of one's preferred activity.

Several months ago, City Manager Jason Slowinski pulled together a group of stakeholders to review management practices in the Clear Creek corridor. This working group - representing neighborhoods, civic organizations, the Golden Visitor's Center, local businesses, outdoor recreation industry representatives, equipment rental companies, and Golden residents - met regularly since February discussing issues, challenges, and potential strategies, to address the issues caused by the growing popularity of Clear Creek. The group's work focused on issues concerning water use and safety, trail use, traffic and parking, communications, enforcement of rules and regulations, and environmental concerns.

At the City Council meeting on May 11, the City Manager briefed the City Council on the work of the group and the likely changes in management practices expected during the upcoming 2021 summer season. Among the more significant changes you will likely see are:

  • The implementation of color-coded water safety protocols tied to actual water flow conditions;
  • The introduction of a Clear Creek Ambassador program in an effort to better inform, educate, and establish new cultural norms around enjoyment of the Clear Creek corridor;
  • Better signage to communicate rules, expectations, and other important information;
  • The separation of certain uses on on the adjacent Clear Creek trails in order to minimize user conflicts, to include a preferred path for tubers and a seasonal bike dismount zone;
  • An expanded Park Rangers program with focus on the enforcement of rule violations; and
  • A central online portal for visitor information related to Clear Creek.

These changes, and many others, are based on recommendations of the working group. In addition, the group identified a number of other possible actions and strategies for consideration in future years.

Recognizing the important asset that Clear Creek is for the community, the City will be seeking feedback from residents and visitors related to these changes throughout the summer season. This feedback, along with other data points, will allow us to learn from these changes and will help guide future adjustments and considerations.

As Golden residents can attest, May and June signal the start of another busy summer season in Golden. This year, City officials anticipate activity levels that may exceed the norm for summertime in Golden. After many months of limited activities, interactions, and events due to the COVID-19 pandemic, people will likely seek to get out and participate in the many customary activities that they have missed. In Golden, that means outdoor recreation - especially along and in the popular Clear Creek.

After years of continued growth in activity in the Clear Creek corridor, this year the City will be introducing new measures aimed at improving conditions in the corridor so that all may experience equal amounts of enjoyment of Clear Creek and adjacent trails, parks, regardless of one's preferred activity.

Several months ago, City Manager Jason Slowinski pulled together a group of stakeholders to review management practices in the Clear Creek corridor. This working group - representing neighborhoods, civic organizations, the Golden Visitor's Center, local businesses, outdoor recreation industry representatives, equipment rental companies, and Golden residents - met regularly since February discussing issues, challenges, and potential strategies, to address the issues caused by the growing popularity of Clear Creek. The group's work focused on issues concerning water use and safety, trail use, traffic and parking, communications, enforcement of rules and regulations, and environmental concerns.

At the City Council meeting on May 11, the City Manager briefed the City Council on the work of the group and the likely changes in management practices expected during the upcoming 2021 summer season. Among the more significant changes you will likely see are:

  • The implementation of color-coded water safety protocols tied to actual water flow conditions;
  • The introduction of a Clear Creek Ambassador program in an effort to better inform, educate, and establish new cultural norms around enjoyment of the Clear Creek corridor;
  • Better signage to communicate rules, expectations, and other important information;
  • The separation of certain uses on on the adjacent Clear Creek trails in order to minimize user conflicts, to include a preferred path for tubers and a seasonal bike dismount zone;
  • An expanded Park Rangers program with focus on the enforcement of rule violations; and
  • A central online portal for visitor information related to Clear Creek.

These changes, and many others, are based on recommendations of the working group. In addition, the group identified a number of other possible actions and strategies for consideration in future years.

Recognizing the important asset that Clear Creek is for the community, the City will be seeking feedback from residents and visitors related to these changes throughout the summer season. This feedback, along with other data points, will allow us to learn from these changes and will help guide future adjustments and considerations.

Ask a Question

Do you have a question about the strategies along the Clear Creek corridor? Ask them here and a member of the City of Golden staff will provide an answer. 

loader image
Didn't receive confirmation?
Seems like you are already registered, please provide the password. Forgot your password? Create a new one now.
  • Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin Email this link

    There are currently no parallel bike lanes on 10th street or 8th street and while a future consideration, I don't understand why not do that no matter what to make the area more bike friendly; especially with the new walk-a-bike section in place for 2021 season and helping the Peaks to Plains trail connectivity through town. I also note that the 2021 Golden Visitor’s Guide invites cyclists to come to Golden and ride along Clear Creek - I assume that is only the south side but the powerpoint does not address where bikers will be able to ride along the creek rather than walk a bike.

    Hooper asked 5 months ago

    Thank you for your feedback and question. Cyclists will be able to bike along the south side of the Clear Creek trail, as well as the north side that is not the area between Washington Avenue and the 6th Avenue Bridge other times than the summer season. Additional means of transportation around town are a consideration of the City of Golden Capital Improvement Plan and the Complete Streets program. 

    - Alex Mansfield, Management Assistant

  • Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin Email this link

    The map on the Bike Library wall shows the 6th Ave trail closed from the S Clear Creek Trail connection to the Taj Mahal (I think). Will this (and all other public copies) be replaced by a map showing this trail Open ?

    maysi01 asked 5 months ago

    Thank you for your question. The maps, as well as all the signage around the Clear Creek corridor, is being reviewed for updates and effectiveness by City staff. We will look into this change/update. 

    - Alex Mansfield, Management Assistant

  • Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin Email this link

    Strict enforcement of the rules sounds like a step in the right direction. I understand the 3-pronged approach using education and non-punitive action. Please describe exactly what strict enforcement means under this approach. Is it just zero tolerance rules or all the rules under ordinance 2046? Will it also apply to the 3 parks in the creek corridor (Lions, Parfet and Vanover)?

    derosagoco asked 5 months ago

    Strict enforcement in the three-pronged approach refers to the work of the Park Rangers. The Park Rangers program has been expanded in 2021, and rangers will be moving along the creek corridor making contact with individuals who are in violation of the park rules. The rangers will be using an education-first approach to create voluntary compliance, and repeat or serious offenders will receive administrative citations. For serious criminal matters along the creek, sworn police officers will be in the area to respond appropriately.

    - Alex Mansfield, Management Assistant 

  • Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin Email this link

    Regarding the new clear creek management plan, Councillor Fisher said "While I think the results may feel weighted somewhat in favor of industry vs. residents, there are dozens of mitigation measures that have been proposed and I look forward to seeing how effective they are." Why will the results feel weighted in favor of the industry and why does the industry have priority over the citizens of Golden?

    Bryank80 asked 4 months ago

    The strategies were created with input from a wide variety of stakeholders, including residents of the nearby neighborhoods, representatives from the Colorado Whitewater Association, and owners of nearby businesses. The City hopes that the strategies will work in favor of all those who have a stake in an improved Clear Creek corridor.

  • Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin Email this link

    What does the city consider to be the pros of tubers on Clear Creek? What does the city consider to be the cons of tubers on Clear Creek?

    shaytande asked 4 months ago

    The use of single-chamber inflatable devices is legally allowed on Colorado waterways, including Clear Creek.

    - Alex Mansfield, Management Assistant

  • Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin Email this link

    Slide 11. Why not encourage tubers to the south side trail where there is less foot traffic?

    mhp49 asked 5 months ago

    Thank you for your question and interest in this topic. There are more creek access points on the north side of Clear Creek, making it easier for users of all kinds to get in and out of the creek without damaging fragile areas of the creek banks.

    - Alex Mansfield, Management Assistant

  • Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin Email this link

    When can the community expect the Clear Creek Corridor Strategies to be fully implemented?

    Dave Shuey asked 4 months ago

    Golden City Staff are currently working on implementation of the strategies listed in the documents. They are expected to be operational within this summer season. 

    - Alex Mansfield, Management Assistant

  • Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin Email this link

    At what flow rate is Clear Creek closed to inflatibles?

    connewr asked 5 months ago

    Clear Creek may be closed to inflatables at 900 CFS plus if other factors such as low water temperature, debris in the creek, or other hazardous conditions that exist. Thank you for your question.

    - Alex Mansfield, Management Assistant

  • Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin Email this link

    Why implement a season-long bike dismount zone that effectively discriminates against beginners on bikes for a traffic issue that lasts 12 hours each week, and could easily be managed through painting lanes onto the path? All this does is discriminate against that user group for the entire summer season (which is when you get the most beginners riding bikes) without actually addressing clogging on the path for those who are on foot. Painting lanes onto the path is a permanent solution.

    Ann asked 5 months ago

    The dismount zone idea was selected for implementation as a way to reduce the speed of trail traffic along the busiest section of the Clear Creek trail. As there are more people on the trail, it becomes harder for faster moving individuals to stop and there is an increased risk for collisions or incidents. The north side of the trail was selected as the dismount zone for its many water access points and greater foot traffic during summer months. Bikers will be able to ride on the south side of the trail as they have in the past. Also, the Plains to Peak trail is expected to be completed this summer, providing 65 miles of trail along Clear Creek for bikers to use. There are also 24 miles of connected trails in Golden for enjoyment and recreational use.

    Painting lines would make the pedestrian usable sections of the trail smaller, and more congested. The same amount of people in a tighter space would reduce the overall enjoyment of the Clear Creek trail. Similarly, there would likely be spillover from one lane to the other, creating the chance for accidents from users not expecting the other type of trail user in their lane. Furthermore, it is more permanent than placing seasonal 'dismount' signs. if the lanes were not working, reverting the trail would be costly. Trail use lanes and widening the trails were considered, and may be implemented in the future.

    Thank you for providing your comments on the dismount zone. The City of Golden intends to evaluate the of the strategies regularly this summer for improvements. We are open to trying alternatives in this season and in the future if a something isn't quite working as we hope.

Page last updated: 03 August 2021, 11:32