Make rides safe, well-lit |

Make rides safe, well-lit

Vail Daily Editorial Board
Vail CO, Colorado

As a community, we should be doing everything we can to make sure cyclists have safe and well-lit places to ride.

We should be encouraging people to commute by bike, too, by lighting paths at night and widening the shoulders of Highway 6. Being a resort town, not everyone works a standard 9-to-5 schedule, and many bartenders, waitresses and others may need to ride home after dark.

It’s up to the community to do all this because, particularly in the case of Highway 6, the Colorado Department of Transportation, which is woefully strapped for cash, isn’t rushing to make more room for cyclists or put up streetlights. And even if they had the money, it’s unlikely projects that don’t involve moving cars around would be at the top of the agency’s list of priorities.

This means much of the money will likely come from local pockets, which means cyclists must organize and lobby local governments for money for the various improvements that would make their rides more pleasant.

Cyclists may also have to reach into their pockets ” would they stand for a $5 to $10 tax on every bicycle sold in the county to pay for lights and wider shoulders? Or a registration fee to fund improvements? Are they willing to organize more fundraisers or volunteer to help build new paths?

Participate in The Longevity Project

The Longevity Project is an annual campaign to help educate readers about what it takes to live a long, fulfilling life in our valley. This year Kevin shares his story of hope and celebration of life with his presentation Cracked, Not Broken as we explore the critical and relevant topic of mental health.

The community should support their efforts because it’s in all of our interests to have more people riding, rather than driving. This will take the strain off our roads ” which the state is struggling to find money to fix.

And more people traveling and commuting by bike will keep greenhouse gases out of our air. In the current political climate, it is being left to town, county and state governments to protect the environment.

Speaking of the environment, let’s install solar-powered lights along the bike paths. And let’s make sure the lights face downward so we can still see the stars while folks are riding home at night, keeping smog out of the sky.

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