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.

REJECT THIS PROPOSAL! This is a truly bad idea put forth by a special interest group of 3 citizens. Apart from offering to "pay" for construction of the mountain bike ruts ("sidewalk") as the only benefit to the city, this group is not a 401C-3 organization, nor is it licensed, bonded or insured to conduct this work. It is simply a special interest group of three people with a few friends in high places (see bio's of the principles for their political connections). The City of Golden, and therefore the rest of the citizens (or as the last city manager called us "You people"), are taking full responsibility and liability for this project, whether funded by special interest money or tax payer's dollars. The city will be responsible for any and all environmental damages or personal injury during construction and use of this ill-conceived project.

A project of this magnitude should not be allowed to go forward without a full environmental impact statement in accordance with all state, federal, and local environmental rules and the National Environmental Protection Act (NEPA). None of this is presented in the "proposal". This area is a significant urban watershed to Clear Creek and the erosion potential of these tracks (soon to be ruts) cannot be underestimated. The soils in this area are easily eroded and difficult to revegetate. This has been an ongoing issue within the Eagle Ridge area since construction of the subdivisions over a decade ago and several areas are still in the process of being stabilized. As soon as these ruts are established, rainwater run-off will flow along them, fragile soil profiles will become unstable, erosion will worsen and the sensitive riparian areas will degrade. This influx of sediment will add to the ongoing problem of keeping Clear Creek “clear”.

The City of Golden has displayed its poor ability to engineer projects in the past with the poor design of the Heritage Road roundabouts and Eagle Ridge traffic slowing features, so I have little faith in their ability to engineer these bike ruts any better. If the roundabouts are an example of the design capability of the Golden engineering staff, this project will likewise produce ongoing costs to all Golden taxpayers and is likely to be a catastrophic failure.

The Kinney Trail is a wonderful family friendly asset to the residents of Golden used by hikers, bicyclists, mountain bikers, skateboarders, cross country skiers, and dog walkers-not to mention the herds of elk, deer, the occasional bear, coyote, fox, mountain lions and bobcats. It would be a pity to see this natural habitat deteriorated and the riparian areas degraded that have recovered so well from historic disturbance.

As a resident and avid user of the Kinney Trail, I strongly oppose this proposal and recommend that the City of Golden reject the proposal completely. May I remind you that the employees of the City of Golden, the City Counsel, and the Mayor work for all the citizens who live and pay taxes in Golden. This time, listen to us the citizens of Golden.

Sincerely,
Bill

16wstanley17 about 3 years ago

I do not support the project and have an additional thought to add. Golden planning over several years identified that car traffic along Heritage Road is a significant concern due to population growth in the area. Heritage Road is intended to be neighborhood road. To address the concern, significant resources (staffing, funding, etc.) has been devoted to change Heritage Road to reduce non-resident traffic in the area. The singletrack sidewalk proposal aims to have a direct opposite impact on the area and neighborhood. The proposal is designed to bring in non-resident people to the area and increase non-resident traffic on Heritage so that people could access the track. It seems like there is inconsistent strategic planning that is not connected together since the goals related to changing Heritage Road are very different from the goals of the singletrack.

JSED about 3 years ago

If anything I would like to see the STS area expanded! I hate to think this will be limited to such a small area, and limited to the Golden city limits. As with any systemic transportation solution, this project should be approched systemically, and regionally, and support the safe transportation alternatives for people throughout the region who will visit these trails. I could see this trail expanding much further east on Colfax, down S. Golden Road, and connecting up into the regional trail systems throughout the area. Thanks!

ethan about 3 years ago

As a father of two children (Mitchell Elementary and Bell Middle School), I am thrilled to see this project come to life in Golden. My kids have been riding bikes since they were very young and one of their favorite places to ride is Valmont Bike Park in Boulder. We started taking them there on their balance bikes (no pedals) at age 2 and right away they were cruising the easy green singletrack trails. They had a lot of fun in a safe environment and through the years have build up their bike skills. They are now 9 and 12 and continue to ask for trips to Valmont bike park. To have something like this in our backyard would be amazing.

dkosnak about 3 years ago

I support this project and think its a great use of the open space on the sides of existing social trails. Just because the trails are being proposed by a local mountain biking prominent non-profit doesn't mean these singletrack sidewalks can't be multi-use like other open space parcels in Jefferson County. The multi-use trails in Jefferson County would be in much worst shape if it wasn't for the Golden Giddyup crew working with the Jefferson County Open Space to maintain and create sustainable solutions for everyone's trails.

williama3 about 3 years ago

We love this idea and are looking forward to volunteering to getting this done.
Hoping everyone else sees the benefit of biking and family time.

Please add our email address to the volunteer list.

penafletcher about 3 years ago

The STS project is a fantastic idea. I strongly support it and appreciate the care GiddyUp is taking in following the right processes to get it done. I would love to see the same thing done in North Golden as well.

thefrooks about 3 years ago

I strongly oppose the STS project. I am a frequent walker throughout the area in question. I support the accommodation of bikes in general, and I believe the large paved path already represents such an accommodation. However, the STS project will throw the walking/nature/biking balance further off kilter than it already is. Fifteen years ago, I could hike in the Apex open space and feel like I was in nature. Now the area feels like a BMX track, and I don’t even bother going. The STS proposal would simply expand the bike-dominated zone. The STS would quickly become a regional and local draw, bringing crowds into an area that now mostly feels like a neighborhood park with natural areas. Erosion and destruction of plants would increase. Wildlife would more frequently be disrupted. Noise, excessive speed, risky behavior, conflicts with walkers and dogs all would increase. Don’t just look at the separated trails on those maps. Look at the chokepoints, like where the proposed STS would cross the bridge over Kinney Run or where it “would need to re-join the bike path before the brick oven historical site.” Think about how walkers have many more interactions with bikers in a short space because bikers are so much faster. Although most bikers are responsible and considerate, the very nature of the activity will bring these changes as volume increases, and the higher volume will offset the purported benefits of separated trails – there would still be many bikers (road and mountain) on the paved trail, they would just be on the STS too. What’s more, the increasing volume will mean the small percentage of bikers who are aggressive, reckless, or otherwise inconsiderate will represent a larger absolute number of such people. As another commenter (“Golden Mountain Biker”) said, Golden has a multitude of mountain biking opportunities already: “If you can't find dirt to ride in Golden then you are probably lost.” We should not further disrupt the balance of activities or quality of life in this area by adding STS.

JJ about 3 years ago

I am strongly opposed to this proposal. Segment 2 goes right along our back fence, and I don't want a singletrack so close to our property. Not everyone in Golden, or in Heritage Dells, is a mountain biker. Already I feel shut out from the Apex trail because I can never relax and enjoy a nice hike with my 6 and 7 year olds. I never know when bike is going to come barreling down the trail. The bikers are nice people and generally careful, but not always. I've resigned myself that Apex is a mountain biking trail, not a hiking trail. I don't want to see the rest of Kinney Run become overrun with mountain bikes.

cehitch about 3 years ago

I support this. Forward thinking, fun, and it is part the reason Golden property values are strong and rising--people who are moving here want outdoor rec. Get kids on trail and off screens. This is a no-brainer, hopefully the city can embrace a good thing here.

WeareGolden about 3 years ago

I see nothing wrong with adding a small dirt path adjacent to an existing sidewalk. I wish this were happening near my neighborhood quite honestly. My children are old enough to ride SOME of the trails in Golden now, but this would have been amazing to have a few years ago - since "beginner" trails just don't exist much here. What a nice option for those with very small children, or older people who want to walk on dirt because asphalt and pavement are harsh on aging joints.

I don't agree this will do environmental damage (more than a sidewalk already does), there's NO proof this will happen. A small dirt path won't devalue homes or degrade quality of life, as some asinine flyer suggested; in fact so many studies have proven that MORE natural surface trails increase home values, drive the economy up and generally help provide a great quality of life in communities.... (https://peopleforbikes.org/blog/bicycling-provides-137-million-in-economic-benefits-to-northwest-arkansas/)

It's silly to think this will significantly change or disrupt homeowners/noise levels any more than existing traffic already does: people, bikes, horses, are already using the sidewalks... If anything, sounds of laughter and pure the joy of riding bikes will be ringing in people's ears and if they don't like that, then they are just citizens against happiness.

I'd urge the city to look at the REAL FACTS, not the fake news being disseminated via flyers by (who knows?!?!?!) in hopes of scaring residents into opposing this. FACTS. FACTS. FACTS. If you oppose this in that particular neighborhood, please consider PROPOSING this in other neighborhoods throughout Golden, I'd happily write a fact based flyer for the residents of my area.

Clschieffer about 3 years ago

I think that this is a great idea. Being the father of 2 small children who love to ride on dirt, I would much rather have something like this in my neighborhood. We have a single local trail that myself, my kids, and my neighbors use as a cutoff between Iowa and Arapahoe St. It is great, and a fun little dirt section, and I wish there were more in our neighborhood. Sometimes I see neighborhood kids lapping it, but generally it is pretty quite. I have spent a lot of time reading through the comments, city meeting minutes, looking at the proposals, and talking to people about it. It seems to me that there are a lot of concerns that the Golden Giddyup has tried to address, and a lot of issues that the local homeowners have brought up. This is an area for a conversation.
These are my observations and comments regarding the project:
1) there seems to be a misunderstanding about the overall purpose of this project and the funding allocation. The proposal is to see if it will work. As it has been described, if people are against certain segments of this proposal, then it doesn't have to get built. That is why the broke it into segments, so certain areas could still happen, while others are taken out. The funding from this project is different from funding coming from other areas, such as road maintenance. The city has a budget for public works, which includes parks and rec. Not wanting to spend money on this project because the traffic circle isn't fixed doesn't make sense to me, as they come from different parts of the budget. Also, a lot of the funding will be provided by the GoldenGiddyUp, and work will be done by volunteers.
2) It seems to me that section 5 and 6 are the most strongly opposed, due to impact to the environment. Having looked at the maps, as well as walking the trail, it is apparent that there is already a "social" trail that is on that bench. It does not appear that a well built trail would have significant impact.
3) Impact to wildlife is a concern to some, but my question is this. If there is a concrete path running through their habitat and they still are comfortable coming to the area, what impact will a dirt path be? If i were a fox, I would prefer to catch a critter on the dirt path, rather than the concrete.
4) These trails will not be destination trails. People will not be flocking to the neighborhood to ride these trails. People who live in the neighborhood will be using these trails, just as they use the concrete paths. People that are already riding down the concrete path will use these as an alternative, to continue their enjoyment of riding on dirt. Traffic on the trails will most likely not increase, as people finishing their rides are already riding through the neighborhood on the concrete paths. Most importantly, kids will be using these paths to learn some critical skills and help them grow into competent mountain bikers.
5) Many of the trails in Jeffco are not designed for beginner riders, and those that are often short segments buried within a more intimidating trail system. Getting to those trails often involves a drive, with very little return for those beginner riders, so they head out onto trails that are above their ability level. Once they are on those trails, they find them too challenging and look for alternative methods. This is why the trails widen, because people are looking for alternatives to obstacles that they cannot get over, but they still want to stay on the bike. Providing trails specifically designed for these beginner riders, while at the same time providing opportunities for advancement, will be a more sustainable approach to our entire trail system.
6) "There is a bike park for kids to learn" is not a true statement. The bike park is designed for a variety of ability levels, but the pump track was not designed as a beginner or entry level part of the park. I love to go to the bike park with my kids and watch them ride around the pump track, and it has become a bit of a destination spot for kids, but the reality is it is a feature for practicing skills like cornering, maintaining momentum, etc. It is extremely difficult for small children to understand this, and in the end cause more damage to themselves and the park by constantly falling off the features, or riding over the edges. It also limits other people's ability to use the pump track for what it was designed for when you are trying to avoid crashing kids on striders.
7) Trail Erosion and Maintenance seems to be a concern, and I can see where this might be an issue to some, but in my experience, trails that are properly built will probably get changed because people want something different before erosion becomes an issue. I have been helping build trails for almost 20 years, and there are many sections of trail that I can still remember placing rocks, or building drainage, that is still right where I put them. Improperly built trails and planning can surely lead to erosion issues, but with the help of COMBA, Jeffco, and the resources at hand, I don't see these trails being slapped together with no planning. Those proposing these trails have a goal to see if this works, so they want to do it right from the beginning.
8) Community Involvement is key. Obviously there are different perspectives to what should and shouldn't be allowed, and good information is important for both sides. This has been a project that has been in the works for years, with everything documented and archived. This was a project that was proposed by residents on multiple occasions. This is not the city planners pushing an agenda on anyone. If and when proposal for the pilot program gets passed, there are still a lot of steps to be taken to get these built. That is really where the community can step in. Building trails and putting your own sweat equity into your neighborhood gives a very different appreciation for what goes into it. People are more willing to take care of their trails when they have gone out there with a rock bar and a tamper to build it themselves. You are more eager to show off your trails, tell your kids that you helped build them, and get the kids building them with you to give them a sense of ownership.
9) Liability issues are being addressed, and the intended use of these trails is not any different from someone riding down the paved paths. Accidents can happen on any of these trails, or any of the jeffco trail system trails. The insurance on the bike park was related to the type of features and jumps that were incorporated, but the question is a valid one and should be addressed.

JD about 3 years ago

I support this proposal. Contrary to what some are saying, the STS will decrease traffic on these bike paths by providing an alternative route for trail users, making hikers, walkers, runners, and cyclists alike feel safer and have to yield less. With so many great open space trails nearby, the short STS would never compete with those and become an attraction for people out of town. It would only provide a second lane to decrease traffic for already existing trail users.

The single track would be no more disruptive to the residents of Eagle Ridge and the surrounding ecosystem than the bike path already is, but it would reduce some conflict and hostility between users of the Kinney Run Bike Path that results from a shared path. I would support an effort like this in my neighborhood as well.

Unfortunately some people just don’t want to see kids on bikes in the future for whatever reason and feel entitled to the space, but cycling is a mentally and physically rigorous sport that is great for children to get into. The sport is rapidly growing with or without the STS. Golden is a community known for its great cycling and hiking, so let’s embrace this growth rather than fight it.

readew about 3 years ago

I support this effort. The Golden area has no green trails except on top of the Mesas but it requires riding blue trails to get there. For young children that's not possible. When our children were young, it was a frustration for us that we could not go biking with our children on dirt and in nature anywhere near to our home.

Also as a non-resident of this particular area, I typically park in downtown Golden, bike up Chimney and down Apex. I can assure many of the folks opposing this trail that I would not ride this trail when returning to my car. By the time I'm finished with this loop, I want to get back to my car and home as quickly as possible and that's down the paved bike path.

This potential trail provides one thing and one thing only: a place for kids to have fun, learn to ride dirt, and actually be in nature and not on a concrete path next to it.

For those in opposition, please visit this site: https://generationwild.com. We desperately need more kids in the dirt and kicking the leaves and not in front of screens.

nickadams42 about 3 years ago

I am strongly opposed the proposed Singletrack Sidewalks project. I live in the neighborhood area where the proposed project would go and walk on the existing sidewalk many times a week. This project will negatively impact my quality of life. I am opposed to the idea for several reasons. 1) I oppose the concept because there are already extensive mountain biking trail options in the area. I see no need for additional trails. I am opposed to expanding biking trails into other areas. 2) I am opposed to project because it will remove existing plants and negatively affect the existing ecosystem in a sensitive river area. Research on these types of landscape changes in river areas have identified negative impacts on both the physical and living environment when these types of trails are added. 3) I am opposed to the project because it is not feasibly reversible. The project destroys plants, changes the ecosystem, changes slope/grade, and increases erosion. There is no easy solution to reverse this impact, so this project is not a short-term experiment. 4) I am opposed to adding this type of activity into my neighborhood. It is intended to bring in people who don't live in my neighborhood. This will degrade the character of my neighborhood and reduce my quality of life.

JSED about 3 years ago

I strongly oppose parts of this project.
I have lived in the Eagle Ridge neighborhood for over 20 years and plan to live here for another 20! I've been walking the Kinney Run Trail almost daily since before it was paved. I derive a profound sense of peace in this Riparian valley. The sound of running water in the creek, in addition to plentiful birdsong, is delightful.
The Japanese have coined a term, Shinrin Yoku, which translates to "Forest Bathing". Much research has been done documenting the physiologic health benefits of nature immersion, showing reductions in cortisol (the stress hormone), decreased blood pressure (lowered sympathetic nervous system activity), increased sense of relaxation (increased parasympathetic nervous system activity), and boosted levels of immune system natural killer cells (which fight infections and cancer).
This valley is an extremely valuable habitat for native wildlife, including bobcats, foxes, coyotes, all of which we are privileged to spot on occasion. There is also an abundance of native bird life which return year after year to nest and raise young in this valley, as well as the hearty year round residents.
The Kinney Run trail is heavily used by people in the surrounding neighborhoods. Though i usually only meet a few each day, I'm always surprised by the number of footprints already made on snowy days before i get out for my early morning walk!
Having the Kinney Run trail in my neighborhood is probably the number one quality of life factor i attribute to living in Golden.
I fear that the addition of STS along the Kinney Run trail will ruin the sense of tranquility that now exists for people and wildlife in this beautiful valley.
I believe it will be a huge draw for bikers from all over the Denver Metro area due to the significant "thrill factor" which the long, relatively straight downhill course will provide. The attempt to veil these trails as places for kids and beginners to safely practice skills and gain confidence seems ingenuous, as i imagine the numerous speeding downhill riders will make this a treacherous trail for anyone else!
The sections of the proposed STS that i oppose are 4, 5 and 6.
Please consider the inherent value that this relatively pristine native habitat has for local people and native wildlife before inviting people from all over Denver Metro into our back yard.
Thank you for listening to my concerns.

Laurel about 3 years ago

I can support a few of the proposed sections. I would support sections 1, 5, and 6; and I detail my rationale for my support of those sections and my opposition to sections 2, 3 and 4 below. Regarding Section 1: there is already a social trail that goes across the open space and this would formalize that trail and channel folks on their bikes to a safe crossing area. Regarding sections 5 and 6: those sections appear to parallel the Kinney run trail in open space areas without houses on either side. It seems like that's pretty low impact in terms of disturbing the existing balance of Trail users being walkers, hikers and mountain and road cyclists. I oppose sections 2 and 3 because I feel like people on bikes and those walking currently do a good job policing themselves in terms of dealing with the current density of traffic on the Kinney run trail between the Apex trailhead and Heritage Dells Park. I walk this route between The 4th avenue cul de sac and Apex trailhead on the Kinney Run trail at least twice a day every day and it's my experience that when mountain or road bikers encounter a walker or group/family they generally slow down and announce themselves if they're behind someone. There is the occasional biker who is going a little bit too fast, but in general people are courteous and make accommodations for others. It is the case that sometimes mountain bikers actually go off the trail onto the grass for a few minutes if they're trying to avoid disturbing a walker. I feel that if we put a single-track sidewalk on the side of the Kinney run trail we are essentially encouraging mountain bikers to go faster on the single track. In addition, I feel like we don't need to add erosion issues to the existing trail that works fine. I am most strongly opposed to section 4. I live on 4th Avenue near the cul de sac and as I said, walk in Heritage Dells Park twice a day everyday. Several years ago there was no fence at the end of the cul-de-sac on 4th Avenue and there was a social Trail that people would take going down the face of that rise between the Kinney run trail and the 4th avenue cul-de-sac. I was glad when they closed that off with the fence because that open space has come back and regenerated and every year has more and more wildflowers. Opening up that space again for mountain biking traffic would return that hill side to the condition it was in before they closed the space with the fence, which included more trash and more destruction of wildflowers and erosion. I enjoy that open space completely "open" without the addition of mountain bikes zig zagging down the hillside ( there is plenty of space to do that on Argos Trail just a half a mile down the way). In addition this is an area that the elk really enjoy grazing -during the fall winter and spring. I would be concerned with mountain bikes coming over the top of the cul-de-sac and bombing down the hillside without regard for wildlife in that area.Thanks for your consideration of my views.

jmorales50 about 3 years ago

I oppose encouraging more bikers to add to our congestion. I love the area for the nature and this has become difficult with bikers frequently speeding along the nature trails. This will not serve the majority of local residence while causing more conflict and destruction and disturbance to nature.

Shudson about 3 years ago

I am opposed to this idea. The city of Golden and GiddyUp Golden have been working on this idea for over 2 yrs. When the proposal was first seriously considered signs should have been posted along Kinney Run to notify everyone who lives in the area or just enjoys Kinney Run that this STS was a possibility. We should have been informed and able to voice our opinions from the beginning. Now the city council and GiddyUp Golden have a very comfortable relationship and it seems like anyone who voices disapproval is looked at as someone who doesn't like change with a "not in my backyard" attitude.
My concerns are the impact on the wildlife we all enjoy, disturbance of the native plants, possible damage to the historic Lime Kiln, expansion of the path and aggressive bikers zooming through our neighborhood.
No one can seriously believe this is a path for kids, one biker already said "Great , now we have a path from Chimney Gulch to Apex to downtown Golden."
The bikers around here don't even use the designated bike lanes on Heritage, they ride right down the middle of the traffic lane. How much money was wasted on that idea?? I'm afraid they will treat a STS the same way and do exactly as they please without any regards for the rest of us.

dgano about 3 years ago

I strongly favor this project.

I've always admired these projects in other towns. My friends in Eagle rave about how much their kids love biking to school now.

We live in Golden because we love the ability to have fun outdoors, and STS will reinforce that benefit of living here.

danb about 3 years ago