Vail council to consider formal adoption of dismount zone in village
The Vail Town Council will formally consider provisions of a designated dismount zone for bicycles and other wheeled vehicles in certain areas of Vail Village at its regular meeting Tuesday.
The action item is listed as 5.3 on the meeting agenda, which begins at 6 p.m. in the Vail Town Council Chambers. The meeting will also be live streamed on High Five Access Media.
Consideration of the ordinance follows a decision by Town Council at its Aug.17 meeting to implement a dismount zone in the portions of Vail Village effective immediately to improve interactions between pedestrians and cyclists. As drafted, the ordinance makes it unlawful for any person to drive, ride or operate a bicycle, electric bike, lightweight electric vehicle or non-motorized vehicle in any area posted as a dismount zone by a traffic control sign.
Violations would be subject to a $50 penalty for a first offense; $75 penalty for second offense and additional penalties for subsequent offenses as identified in the Town Code.
Opportunities for public comment are available in advance of the meeting by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or will be available in person at the meeting or virtually by registering at VailGov.com/town-council.
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The summer of 2021 has experienced an increase in visitation to Vail, resulting in high volumes of pedestrians, bikes and other new modes of wheeled travel in the busy village cores. The congestion, coupled with variations in speed, age and user ability led to safety concerns for those visiting and working in the village center.
Signs have been placed throughout the previously designated dismount zone reminding people to “Walk Your Wheels.” The zone includes all of Bridge Street from the Covered Bridge to Seibert Circle and on Gore Creek Drive from Checkpoint Charlie to the edge of the pedestrian zone east of Gorsuch Ltd. The dismount zone will remain in place through the fall when the signs will be removed for the winter season. Additional safety measures including trail etiquette messages and a bicycle/pedestrian safety program will be evaluated over the winter for implementation next summer.
Those looking to bike around the dismount zone are encouraged to use Vail Valley Drive or Vail Road. The official route of the paved Gore Valley Trail bypasses Vail Village to the south through Mountain Plaza near Gondola One and Pirateship Park. A dismount zone is already in place in parts of Lionshead Village.
For areas outside the dismount zones, bikers and users of other wheeled vehicles are reminded that pedestrians always have the right of way and to use moderate speeds in pedestrian areas, 5 mph or less. When passing a slower party, politely alert the other party by calling out and/or ringing a bicycle bell and passing on the left.