Singletrack Sidewalks (STS)

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Consultation has concluded

The Golden Giddyup, a local non-profit focused on trail stewardship in the Golden area, has proposed a new project for riders of all ages in the Golden community. This project would build single-track sidewalks - natural surface trails - next to existing paved bike paths to provide a place for young and beginner riders to experience mountain biking, although the trails would not be exclusively limited to beginner riders.

The proposed Singletrack Sidewalks pilot project (STS) would stretch from Apex Park to 6th Avenue along the bike path on city property. This pilot would be constructed by the Golden Giddyup Trail Team in partnership with neighborhood organizations and the City of Golden Parks staff.

The City of Golden is interested in gathering input from the community for this endeavor PRIOR TO taking any action. Please read the Golden Giddyup's updated full proposal and the supporting information provided on these pages, including detailed descriptions and maps of each proposed trail segment, then tell us what you think!

In order to provide additional information requested by interested citizens, City staff has recently added links to 22 documents in the Project Proposal & Supporting Documents section of this page. These documents contain minutes of Board meetings and staff reports that show the history of this proposed project. We encourage everyone to provide comments here, on the Guiding Golden webpage.

The Golden Giddyup, a local non-profit focused on trail stewardship in the Golden area, has proposed a new project for riders of all ages in the Golden community. This project would build single-track sidewalks - natural surface trails - next to existing paved bike paths to provide a place for young and beginner riders to experience mountain biking, although the trails would not be exclusively limited to beginner riders.

The proposed Singletrack Sidewalks pilot project (STS) would stretch from Apex Park to 6th Avenue along the bike path on city property. This pilot would be constructed by the Golden Giddyup Trail Team in partnership with neighborhood organizations and the City of Golden Parks staff.

The City of Golden is interested in gathering input from the community for this endeavor PRIOR TO taking any action. Please read the Golden Giddyup's updated full proposal and the supporting information provided on these pages, including detailed descriptions and maps of each proposed trail segment, then tell us what you think!

In order to provide additional information requested by interested citizens, City staff has recently added links to 22 documents in the Project Proposal & Supporting Documents section of this page. These documents contain minutes of Board meetings and staff reports that show the history of this proposed project. We encourage everyone to provide comments here, on the Guiding Golden webpage.

Guest Book

After reviewing the Singletrack Sidewalk proposal, we want to hear your thoughts.

I do not support this proposal at all, in any form. It makes no sense at all. There is single track everywhere around our town. Teach your kids on existing trails. We all had to learn that way.

M Richard about 3 years ago

Why didn't we do this sooner. Great use of public space!

basinburn about 3 years ago

I am very excited about the proposed alternative WIN-WIN trail situation!!!
Sitting in the public meeting at Shelton and hearing testimony from all of the Giddyup members/parents/kids I realized that this trail is proposed for the children learning to ride, not for adult riders. (Adults would follow their children though)
I too believe that there isn't a better learning track location than the Old Heritage Square! It is adjacent to their parents trail at Apex. The terrain is ideal to make it easy or complex on the hillside. (Maybe even resurrect the old chairlift, to bring the kids and their bikes up the hill) Parking is plentiful.
Please let me and others know (this is being discussed on Nextdoor) that this is in fact a legitimate alternative proposal that is being considered. Everyone in the area that is opposed to single track seems very agreeable to this proposal!!

goldenmountain about 3 years ago

Summary Comments
What is the defined purpose of this “Pilot”?
If it is, as stated in the public material, to provide “a place for young and beginner riders to experience the joys of mountain biking” then the current proposal of a mixed use environment with riders going to/from Apex fails that mission when compared to other potential designs and locations. There are better options such as a new dedicated bike park (like the Valmont facility and Golden Bike Park), or new trails laid in areas that do not invade natural open space or even maintained greenways. These will likely cost less to build and to maintain.
If the purpose is instead simply to provide dirt trails alongside current paved connector trails for all users then the public input process has been conducted on a false premise.
Further – in response to concerns expressed about parking and traffic issues in the surrounding neighborhoods, the Proponents have stated repeatedly that the proposed trails will be used in largest part by families that live near them… Given this statement, the potential number “young and beginner riders” using this system is reduced significantly and the expanse and cost of the proposed trail system is way out of balance with the expected benefit.
Finally what is the larger “purpose” that is tested by the Pilot – is it to demonstrate that neighborhood centric installations for safe “young/beginner rider” are successful? Or is it to determine the impact of STS trails in general?

What are the Metrics to be applied for determining success of the Pilot?
There has been nothing yet provided on this topic, despite repeated statements from PRMAB and the Council that metrics must be established. In order to design metrics, the purpose of the Pilot must of course be clear (addressed above) and the metrics must be properly related. This is a critically important task – why do a Pilot if there are no established metrics? Who is going to provide the professional expertise to design meaningful metrics?

What will the Pilot cost?
There has been no detailed cost estimate developed and shared with the Public, only varying statements suggesting no/minimal cost to Golden which stand in contrast to the City Staff report and the proponents own statements seeking cost “partnership” with the City.
What design standards are going to be applied? Who is going to manage the activity to ensure that design standards are met and maintained?
It is clear that the cash costs of construction will not be trivial:
In sections 2 and 3, the green space is serviced by sprinkler systems. Those will require significant re-routing to avoid making the proposed trails too muddy for use…in fact if the “serpentine design” to control speed is selected, a sprinkler re-route will be virtually impossible and the current green space will convert to bare ground and weeds. Sections 4 and 5 as proposed will require acquisition of significant structural materials to address the slope and drainage issues.
And then of course there is the on-going maintenance requirement that must be managed by the City just as others such as Jeffco and Ken Caryl manage volunteer trail maintenance crews. What is that manpower requirement?
Are these costs not going to be estimated in detail before approval is granted?
The proponents have said they are “prepared to partner with the City of Golden financially in funding the construction of these trails and trail features” – and have stated elsewhere that they will conduct all the necessary maintenance. With complete respect for the intentions behind this, it is impossible for any organization to make a commitment like this without having a realistic cost estimate and the associated design standards. And, it is impossible for the City to understand the scope of its own cost burden without knowing the total cost estimate and the proponents share.
Finally, as with any City undertaking with a contractor – a careful and detailed review of the contractor’s financial ability to complete the project is essential – including in many cases the posting of a performance bond. What will be done here to put a solid foundation under the proponents’ stated commitments?

Why reduce the already limited amount of “Natural Open Space” available for use by others?
PRMAB master plan survey finds “Open Space/Natural Areas” as receiving the highest ranking of “Importance to Golden Households” (more than 95% rating above 3 on a scale of 5).
The proposed route invades sections of natural open space and dense wildlife habitat that are enjoyed now by many and varied users – why do damage to that use that when there are other ways to accomplish the stated objectives of the Pilot.
What efforts have been made to assess potential neighborhood impact?
Expressed concerns about on-street parking near access points are real – the proposed design covers too long a distance for young riders to access at only one point. Will professional estimates of car traffic in the appurtenant neighborhoods be done so this issue can be addressed objectively?

There is clearly strong public opposition from effected neighborhoods what efforts will be made to address that opposition in a meaningful way?
Friends of Kinney Run have accumulated nearly 250 signatures of effected neighborhood residents that are opposed to the Pilot project as presented.

Maynard about 3 years ago

I live in Heritage Dells and I'm against STS. There is no reason to add a STS when there are plenty of other trails in the golden area. There's already a nice unpaved trail right next to creek just west of 6/93. Once it's built, who's going to maintain it? It's always the 3% that are the squeaky wheel and don't care about the other 97%. When I walk/run on Apex I see poop bags and bikers not yielding to me. Maybe if people were more responsible, but unfortunately they're not.

kschlege about 3 years ago

I have been a resident of the Stonebridge neighborhood for over 6 years, and a resident of Golden for over 34 years. I use Kinney Run for walking almost every day. After attending an informal trail meeting on Kinney Run with members of Golden Giddyup on August 25, and attending the information meeting on August 28, I now believe very strongly that the entire proposal should be REJECTED out-of-hand.
Kinney Run is a huge asset to the city and the surrounding neighborhoods. It is beautiful as is. Why destroy it by turning parts of it into a playground for a small, very vocal, single use entity. The plan does nothing for the majority of users of the Kinney Run trail and appears to me to be an attempt by a small select group of users to enhance and expand their mountain biking adventures under the guise of a “kid friendly project”. Construction of a trail almost anywhere east of the existing Kinney Run trail, especially Segment 5, would require the removal of considerable vegetation and significant earthwork due to the steep slopes present here; so why trash it?
If the members of Golden Giddyup are so sure that an area for children to practice their mountain biking skills is required, then an area within Apex Park should be used so that adults and children can “practice together”. However, as currently proposed by Golden Giddyup, the 6-Trail STS project for Kinney Run should be firmly rejected.
Larenzo

larenzo4294 about 3 years ago

We Support STS!!

My family supports STS 100%. Providing kids with more trail access is just what Golden needs. My kids are excited and as a parent, I am excited for a really cool trail that we can all ride together. I have also spoken with many parents and every single one of them believes in this. Lets move forward with this pilot and continue to work with the community to make Golden's STS a model for other communities.

Smhiker about 3 years ago

The STS installation in Eagle has been referenced repeatedly as a “model” to support the STS Proposal here in Golden
There are several important points that have been missing from that discussion so far. Those are:
The Eagle STS final design went through approximately 5 iterations over the course of a year and some months before it was approved by the Town Council. Interestingly, the original proposal apparently tracked through neighborhoods and this was immediately rejected. Council meet every two weeks on this topic and a working group met on the intervening weeks to work through to create a clear objective of purpose served and satisfy public concerns that were addressed from the beginning. This process stands in sharp contrast to what has been done here time to date.
The Eagle STS final design is, by active decision process a “road to nowhere” – specifically intended NOT to be a connector route to other MTB trails so that it would not attract experienced MTB riders. In contrast, the proposal here in Golden will be a direct connector route that will attract experienced MTB traffic going to/from Apex. The proponents in Golden admit that mixed rider traffic will be an issue but suggest they will use “trail design” to discourage the more experience riders. There clearly are other locations to consider that follow the Eagle lead.
In Eagle, the STS was proposed, as here by a Non-Profit organization that represented they would construct and maintain the trails. The Town Council insisted that the NFP demonstrate specific financial capacity to deliver on this commitment. Again, something missing in the Golden proposal.
An issue that Eagle was trying to address in their work was that of eliminating informal "social trails" that had been cut by MTB riders alongside of the existing paved paths - we simply don’t have that issue here.
Eagle also apparently had serious issues with multi use conflicts (hiker/biker). We have said from the beginning that we don’t have these kinds of issues and the current design will create more as it increases the on/off merge traffic between the proposed dirt trail and the current paved trail.
Maynard

Maynard about 3 years ago
mountainmarit about 3 years ago

Jerry: Have you taken your kids (or better have them ride) over to South Table Mountain? There is a road up to the top if you want to drive them up but that road up is no steeper than the proposed Kinney Run trail. S Table is very close to the homes of kids living near Kinney Run and a short pedal from Taco Bell. The trails up there offer a great variety of the dirt experience, from flat double track to technical singletrack, although the latter, it's said are "too easy" for Apex riders.
Using those trails will not upset the residents and would be great practice for Apex. How about sessions on the cretaceous/tertiary combo? That's a good one. Another place to take them (or ride) is Green Mountain which also offers easier dirt for beginners. Another option for your kids is the CX course which is really close by. In short, we needn't chew up the lawn, upset the neighbors, add an unnecessary
maintenance burden, cause erosion which dumps dirt onto the paved trail, have bikers get air onto the paved trail scaring walkers with baby carriages, etc. I hope you will use what we already have. Best on dirt, Bikerpop

bikerpop about 3 years ago

I think that the STS proposal is a great idea and helps to strengthen the community. The options for beginner mountain bikers are very limited and the trails would be great for family rides. The NIMBYs need to be more flexible and share their natural areas with other Golden residents!

soccerj about 3 years ago

My kids (ages 6 and 11) love to ride bikes, and we've ridden with them all over - Moab, Fruita, Eagle, Snowmass, Cortez, Durango, Crested Butte, Breckenridge and Curt Gowdy, just to name a few. What all of those places have in common is that they all have more trails suitable to kids and beginners than we do here in Golden. We don't tend to ride near our house because the trails are overall too steep and rocky, and require too much vertical climb to complete a loop.

These types of trails shouldn't be something that we have to pack up the car and drive to go ride. For the low cost and minimal maintenance, they should be something as accessible as grassy fields and playgrounds are throughout the city.

Singletrack for beginners and kids is a need in our community. If you have a stand up paddleboard, is a swimming pool a reasonable place to go paddle? No, and neither is an 8' wide sidewalk a reasonable place for kids and beginners to learn to ride in the dirt. Given a choice, my kids will always choose a dirt path over concrete. You don't see kids sessioning a concrete path, but give them a dirt trail, and they can ride it for hours.

During my 6 years on the Golden parks and rec advisory board, we discussed numerous times the lack of parks amenities for the south end of town, and also the lack of things to do in parks for the underserved tween to teenaged kids throughout the city. Singletrack, which is inexpensive to build and low maintenance, can help answer all of these needs.

The first true pilot trail, and proof that the trails can be built quickly and cheaply, is the singletrack trail at Vanover Park. It was built in just a couple days by the Parks and Rec department in April of 2016, and as far as I know has not required much, if any, maintenance since then.

The trails don't need to be only for kids or only for advanced riders. If built properly, they can suit every user. When I follow my kids around Valmont bike park trails, I have fun, and not just from seeing their joy of riding and learning, but also because the trails help me work on riding skills as well.

Sprinklers are not detrimental to the trails, either. Valmont bike park has a sprinkler system that runs multiple times during the day to keep the trails in optimal condition. If Golden could afford it, the Golden bike park would have a similar system, and would require less regular maintenance.

As to the questions about the Giddyup Group's ability to build quality sustainable trails, go check out the upper section of Apex Trail, just below the stairs at Colorow Road. They did an incredible job of re-routing an original trail that had eroded away, and their solution to drainage is much more effective and fun to ride and hike than the methods Jefferson County used to employ.

We live in the Village at Mountain Ridge, and will be happy to see the Heritage neighborhoods get trails, but we want singletrack sidewalks in our neighborhood, too.

Jerry Harcek about 3 years ago

@Teev,
Yes, I have ridden that trail by the bike park. it is not part of the bike park, and was there before the bike park was built, as part of the connecting trail system. We will often take this trail starting at Tony Grampsas, but it is a trail we have to drive to. Just because they are little, doesn't mean they go far. Currently they will do a few miles on the paved paths, and have gone up and down the paved paths around Kinney Run a few times, but prefer dirt. We have a few trails around us at Loveland Mine Park and the other day they spent 45 minutes making laps down these 2 little dirt trails. I wish we had more of them around us.
Speaking of those trails, they are local trails that have been there for 10 years. I'm sure some of the neighbors that back right up to these trails would tell you that they still see plenty of wild life, and the very minimal amount of increased traffic makes no difference.
An STS is not a pump track at all, that is the point.

JD about 3 years ago

@JD,
Great that your 3 year old is a mountain biker. Has your 3 year old been on the flat trail that’s directly adjacent to golden bike park that loops around the wooded drainage ditch, near the archery range? Not sure if that’s officially part of the bike park, but it’ right there and super fun for a kid, plus it’s shaded under the tree canopy. How about the flat fairmount trail which is across Easley Road from GBP? I’m not sure a child that age could ride up Kinney it’s fairly long and steep. An STS is not a pump track...that’s not part of the plan is it?

teev about 3 years ago

@ Teev,
The golden bike park is not designed for beginner children. This is a myth, and has in fact caused a lot of damage to the pump track based upon the design of their bikes, and their inability to properly use the features. The pump track was completely redesigned after it was originally built to be a bit more accommodating for these younger riders, but that took a serious effort from those involved. I would not take my 3 year old on a strider down the "trails" at the golden bike park even though I will let her ride the pump track.

JD about 3 years ago

In response to pmevans…have you taken your kids to the Golden Bike Park and Fairmount Trail in north Golden? This is about a 10 minute drive from this area. It was built to fill the need you described, a place for kids to practice biking. Golden Bike Park and Fairmount Trail suits kids on striders all the way up to bmx riders and full trail at North Table Mountain. Let’s say you wanted your kids to play baseball, would you ask the city to build a ball field right in your neighbors open space so that you wouldn’t have to drive the one of the existing ball fields? No, you and all the other kids who want to play would find a way to get to a local ball field, just like you can easily get to Golden Bike Park, Fairmount, Apex, North Table Mountain, Green Mountain or Matthews Winters to mountain bike. Sometimes you have to drive if the child doesn’t want to walk or bike that far, just like a baseball player might have to get a ride to Tony Grampsas or another field. If the full size ball field is too big for small kids, the parents and coaches shorten the field and they play in a smaller area, the city doesn’t build fields for little kids and other fields for big kids. You can also shorten the mountain bike trail and ride sections that are appropriate for the child’s ability. Also, mountain biking at Golden High School has become popular in spite of the fact that the GHS team kids didn’t grow up with STS trails, they all rode the actual trails. Finally this proposal keeps getting shut down because people don’t want it, they compromised and built the Golden Bike Park instead.

teev about 3 years ago

I have read many of the comments made since the Shelton meeting. I find it disheartening that so many who support STS have stated that opponents are scroogelike, nimby, not forward thinking and not community minded. This is divisive language and will deepen the divide between the two groups.

I was at the Shelton meeting. Mr, Benitez, who made no point, was rude to the Friends for Kinney Run. why was he at the meeting?

Why should more support be given to Golden Giddyup than to other volunteer groups?They did not state how they would be able to pay for the trail. They did not make it clear how they would pay for continued maintenance. Golden should not finance this trail when there is an already existing trail. It is my understanding that North Table Mountain and Colorado School of Mines have already turned down this STS proposal by Golden Giddyup. I stand corrected if my information is incorrect. Regardless, I feel the trail is redundant.

A concerned Golden citizen

VBA about 3 years ago

I am in support of the proposal.

There seems to be a difference of opinion in the need for this project. Some see it as a want, purely for the sake of a small number of people. However, the Parks and Recreation department is a city department, managing the shared recreation resources for the benefit of the whole community. There are many things the city does that benefits a seemingly small user group – soccer fields, baseball fields, Ulysses skate park, Clear Creek kayak park, neighborhood playgrounds, Fossil Trace golf course, dog parks, the Front Porch, etc. The STS is filling a gap that exists for the young cyclists in the community. Their “park” is 1 mile long and 2 feet wide, instead of the size of a soccer field, but it doesn’t make it any less valuable.

A lot of adults today grew up playing soccer or baseball, walking to their neighborhood park to kick or throw a ball around. In Golden today, more children are growing up participating in different sorts of outdoor sports like hiking, biking, and climbing. This is evident in the fact that the mountain biking team at Golden High is the biggest sports team – bigger than football, track, or any of the other traditional ball sports. The STS of today is the neighborhood baseball diamond of yesterday. It’s where the kids learn and practice their sport, get better at it, and learn the rules and etiquette of trail riding. My kids have done endless loops on the small pump track at Vanover park, and they would spend many more hours on easy single track if it were more available.

Furthermore, I appreciate the public process that has gone on for years leading up to this. On Guiding Golden, there are links to the minutes of public meetings going back to 2011 where this concept has been discussed. There have been 19 public Parks and Rec Advisory Board meetings where this has been discussed, each one having been publicized in advance and with minutes taken. It’s clear this concept has been brewing for a long time, and in my opinion, it’s long past time to start building STS in Golden.

Anon about 3 years ago

I was at the community meeting on the 28th. After all is said and done the STS trail is really not a good idea. We already have a perfectly fine trail system.
Further study of Segment 4 is really objectionable for two reasons. 1) the Switchback design on the hill side 2) I have just noticed the trail is intended to go above the Rock Wall further north on the trail. this is a safety issue and an environmental issue as the rock wall could degrade over time with the added pressure above the wall. The area the trail would go through above the will destroy what little grass is holding back runoff from the bare surface above it.
GUG says the trails are for kids, ok what happens when one of them tumbles off the wall above the trail which is about a 3' drop on to the small area of grass next to the current concrete trail? Some one could get seriously hurt.
They say the STS is for kids. Are they blind? There is already a trail for kids and it is much safer.

No one from the city has addressed the continual mess that will be created by the existing sprinkler systems spraying water on the dirt trails in the grass several times a week.

rbaileycce about 3 years ago

I agree with mountainmarit about the trail-to-nowhere. Not only does it serve no purpose but it is poorly designed. GG says the trail will stay high to avoid the floodplain but how would it get over to Zeta without going low? It even would have to climb the water containment berm at Zeta. And keep this in mind: the builders of the new Bachman Farms homes spent lots of money to build a drainage system to dump its runoff down there. Add to that a 100 year flood is probably now a 20 year flood.Just makes no sense on both engineering and utility grounds.

bikerpop about 3 years ago