News Wednesday Oct 21, 2020

E-Bikes
Class 1 electric bikes (pedal assisted with maximum speeds of 20mph) are currently allowed on paved trails in Colorado Springs. Should they be allowed on forest trails in our city parks and open spaces? Proponents say e-mountain bikes allow older and physically impaired riders greater accessibility. Opponents say the e-bikes will make trails more crowded and less safe. E-mountain bikes are currently NOT allowed on El Paso County Park trails. They are allowed in Cheyenne Mountain State Park.
In Colorado, Jefferson County Open Space began allowing Class 1 e-bikes on natural surface trails after a successful pilot program in 2018. Larimer County Open Space launched an e-bike study involving 30 cyclists in on one soft surface trail in July. The study ends in February. Staff is looking for trail and safety impacts and will make a decision based on study data.
City parks staff has discussed the proposal with stakeholders and will continue this conversation by launching an online survey available to residents citywide before making a final decision. The survey will gauge opinions about e-bike use on trails in our community, and should be available by the end of this month. In the meantime, we encourage you to learn more about e-bikes so that you’re ready to weigh in when the survey launches. There are varying viewpoints on this topic locally, nationally and around the world, and we encourage you to look at multiple sources of information.
Our current city e-bike policy is available at https://coloradosprings.gov/ebike.
E-Scooters
The City Traffic Engineering and Planning Staff have drafted an ordinance that will provide guidance for the launch of electric scooter-share in downtown Colorado Springs, planned for 2021. Electric scooter-share has been adopted into many urban environments, allowing another option for the movement of people traveling short distances in a given area. Our current PikeRide e-bike share model is an element of this, but e-scooters bring a host of different considerations to bear; City staff at multiple levels, the Downtown Partnership and a number of stakeholder groups are all being engaged as they develop an ordinance that will allow for the safe, efficient and orderly managed use of these new personal mobility devices. The initial draft has a revocable permitting process for up to 3 companies to operate locally and each would have to have a minimum of 150 scooters (but no more than 400) in their fleet. The ordinance will contain details and regulations that will address the specific use of, parking considerations and fees. E-scooters will be allowed wherever e-bikes are currently allowed, including paved urban trails.
Additionally, the City is looking to update its current “Dismount Zone” policy, the area in which is it illegal to ride a bike or scooter. The shaded areas are the current downtown area and the blue lines represent the updated dismount zone being proposed. 

PARK AND TRAIL News

Cheyenne Mountain State Park
Trail Ambassadors
You may have noticed some friendly faces around the park in bright green t-shirts. These dedicated volunteers are part of Cheyenne Mountain State Park’s Bike and Trail Ambassador Program, the first and only of its kind in the Colorado State Parks system. Twenty volunteers, on foot or on two wheels, take to the park’s trails to check on trail conditions and interact with park visitors. They are available to answer questions, provide park information and to check on visitor’s well-being. They also encourage visitors to follow Leave No Trace principles of good stewardship of the natural resources of the park. The ambassadors are identified by distinctive forest green t-shirts with “Trail Ambassador” on the back and front, which were supplied by the Friends of Cheyenne Mountain State Park. They also wear Colorado Parks and Wildlife name tags. Visitor response to the program has been overwhelmingly positive, with visitors welcoming the presence of additional monitoring of the park and the availability of park experts to answer questions. During July & August, 500+ visitors were greeted/assisted and 300+ miles of trails were hiked by Ambassadors. Examples of other important things noted and completed by Trail Ambassadors: overgrowth conditions, downed trees, rogue trails discovered and closed, debris and trash removed from trails, and much, much more!
CMSP is the park to visit for TOSC 20|20 Challenge!
Share a pic using #tosc2020challenge for a chance to win an Osprey pack.

 

Trail Closure Notice!! All Trails on the South side of the park road (highlighted in pink) will be closed on Saturday, October 24 for a special event.

2B Updates
Cottonwood Park
Work is underway at Cottonwood Park, converting three baseball fields from grass to artificial turf. The project is expected to be complete by the end of November 2020. The sod from these fields has been removed and replanted near the playground in Palmer Park! This project will save on future water expenditures and maintenance time. It will also provide a consistent playing surface and increase the playing time available for community athletic programs.
 
Palmer-Mesa Trail
Improvements to the Palmer-Mesa Trail are complete! Two deteriorating asphalt segments of the Palmer-Mesa Trail were replaced with concrete. The section located parallel to 30th Street was approximately 1,300-feet long, and the section along Mesa Avenue was 155-feet long.

TOSC

“TRAIL BLAZER” Brew Release
Wednesday, October 21 from 5:00 – 7:00 PM
Fossil Craft Brew Company: 2845 Ore Mill Road, COS
Support the Trails and Open Space Coalition while enjoying Fossil’s latest brew – “Trail Blazer”. TOSC staff was on site brewing the beer, so we can guarantee it’s been made with extra love and care. For every Trail Blazer beer sold, Fossil will make a donation to TOSC. Come join our staff and Fossil brewery owner – Josh – for the release of this custom, sure-to-please brew! Tango Springs food truck will be on site with pizza and empanadas, so come hungry. Can’t make the event? That’s o.k. You can come pick up a crowler at Fossil on your own time- while supplies last!
Thur. Oct 22, 8:00 – 5:00 pm
Let’s hike to the top of Cheyenne Mountain! Come see the Dixon Trail with the Trails and Open Space Coalition and Friends of Cheyenne Mountain State Park. Distance is approximately 16 miles, elevation gain is approximately 3,200 ft. This is a difficult, all day hike! Trekking poles suggested. State Parks Pass is required (Day Pass: $9, Annual Vehicle Pass: $80). Due to Covid-19, group size will be limited and masks will be required. Please contact sharie@trailsandopenspaces.org if you want to attend!

Community

Celebration of the Pikes Peak Multi-Use Plan
Thurs. Oct 22, 10:00 – 12:00 PM
Please join El Pomar Foundation for a virtual conversation to discuss the influence of the 1999 Pikes Peak Multi-Use Plan and the potential next steps in management and protection of the Pikes Peak region. This Zoom webinar will feature an overview of the plan followed by a discussion among local experts in the arenas of recreation and conservation. Panelists: Susan Davies – Executive Director, Trails and Open Space Coalition; Jeff Hovermale – Lands, Special Uses and Minerals Staff Officer, U.S. Forest Service; Dave Leinweber – General Manager, Angler’s Covey Inc. and Founder & Chair, Pikes Peak Outdoor Recreation Alliance; Oscar Martinez – District Ranger, U.S. Forest Service; Mark Shea – Watershed Planning Supervisor, Colorado Springs Utilities.
Physical Activity & Covid-19
Researchers in the Health Sciences Department at UCCS are performing a research study to understand recreational physical activity behavior in Colorado Springs before, during, and after Colorado’s COVID-19 Stay at Home restrictions. They are looking for adults in Colorado Springs ages 18-65 to take an online survey. Even if you do not consider yourself active, we would love for you to take the survey (it is completely anonymous) and share the link with your friends and family. Participation is voluntary and there is no compensation for taking the survey. The survey will take approximately 10 minutes of your time. If you have any questions, please contact Nicole Odell at nodell@uccs.edu.
 
Ghouls & Stools @ Bear Creek Dog Park
Sat. Oct 31, 9:00 – 11:00 AM
Polluted water is scary! Help keep it clean, gloves, buckets and bags provided. Make it festive by participating in the Costume Contest! Contest categories include: TV/Movie, Scariest, Most Original and Best Matching Duo. For more information contact Dana 719-520-6983, dananordstrom@elpasoco.com.
PPRR Trail Clean Up
Sat. Nov 7, 9:00 – 11:00 AM
Help the Pikes Peak Road Runners tidy up their adopted section of the Pikes Peak Greenway Trail. Monthly cleanups are held to pick up trash and other treasures along the trail. Meet near America the Beautiful Park, on Cimino Drive just south of Colorado Ave. Look for the parking lot on to the east. The cleanups last for about two hours. Everybody is welcome to come and help clean the trail. Wear your mask and bring a pair of work gloves and dress for the weather. Trash bags will be provided. Learn more.
Bear Run 2020
Sat. November 7, 10:00 AM
Bear Creek Nature Center is hosting the 6th Annual Bear Run! Runners suit suit up in bear costumes for this silly, family-friendly 5k and 3k fun run & walk on the beautiful trails of Bear Creek Regional Park. The course contains some uphill and downhill sections. This year’s run will take place in staggered waves of no more than 25 runners. Embellish your suit to win prizes by entering in the costume contest. 
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