Vail-Avon bike path needs lighting |

Vail-Avon bike path needs lighting

Karen Chandler

There are three current problems with the bike path between Vail and Avon: lighting, closed sections, and a line of orange cones in the middle of the bridge at Dowd Junction. First of all, I ride my bike from home in Avon to work in Vail, and back again, almost every day, like millions of other Americans trying to save money on gas!

Sometimes, the shifts I work require me to ride home at night when it is dark. I have lights both on the front and on the back of the bicycle. However, the Dowd Junction path by the river is sooooooo dark that, even with the bicycle light, it is hard to follow the pathway without being afraid of turning towards the river on the right or crashing into the wall on the left!

Also, while riding and trying to concentrate just on the pathway, it is almost impossible to see anyone else on the path. A man said hello to me in the dark and I could not see where he was. It was very startling being a woman in this situation.

Also, buses do not allow bicycles on (like they used to, during the day, on racks in front of the buses) after dark because it blocks the headlights. Second, when are all sections of the path going to open up? Behind the Cascade Resort, the path has been closed for many months. During the day, not only is it safer to ride the bicycle path, as opposed to the frontage road, but it is also prettier and more pleasant by the creek.

Thirdly, and most recently, the orange cones on the Dowd Junction pedestrian/bicycle bridge. At first it was wet on the right side and the orange cones and orange plastic ribbon blocked the way. You had to go on the left side. The weather has now tipped the cones over, the string is everywhere, and it is hard to tell which side is open. Apparently Eagle County and the Town of Vail differ on where their responsibility begins. Whoever is in charge of the path maintenance should consider that, right now, the bike bath between Avon and Vail is in very heavy use, and needs to be well-lit, safe, and open.

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