The Tenmile Canyon portion of the Summit County Recreational Pathway System is plowed and open for the 2016 season.
The Tenmile Canyon Recpath typically opens significantly later than other stretches of the pathway system because of active avalanche threats in numerous locations throughout the canyon. Earlier this year, Summit County entered into a three-year agreement with the Colorado Avalanche Information Center (CAIC) to provide weekly on-site snow-safety evaluations. The county uses CAIC’s analysis to help determine when the canyon is safe for maintenance workers and the public. This week, the two reached a consensus: the route is safe for travel.
“Avalanche paths above the Tenmile Recpath continue to lose snow volume and show a continuing trend toward an unlikely threat of an avalanche reaching the bike path,” CAIC reported in its most recent weekly assessment, issued on May 15.
Summit County plowed the path and removed warning signs on May 16, just in time for summer recreation to ramp up before Memorial Day Weekend.
“Public safety is always our paramount concern in determining when to open each section of the recpath,” Summit County Open Space and Trails director Brian Lorch said. “We appreciate how patient everyone has been by staying off the path in Tenmile Canyon until it was cleared.”
Although the path is open, there might still be wet and icy spots, and users might encounter workers and maintenance vehicles while on the path. Recpath users are urged to exercise caution and slow down when approaching work areas or vehicles.
SUMMIT COUNTY TAKES THE SILVER
The League of American Bicyclists recognized Summit County this week with a silver-level Bicycle Friendly Community (BFC) award, joining 372 such communities from across the country. With the announcement of 34 new and renewing BFCs on May 18, Summit solidified its place among a group of leading communities in all 50 states that are transforming neighborhoods to be safer and more enjoyable places to ride.
The BFC program encourages communities to evaluate their quality of life, sustainability and transportation networks, while helping them benchmark progress toward improving bicycle-friendliness. The silver-level BFC award recognizes Summit County’s commitment to improving conditions for bicycling through investment in bicycling promotion, educational programs, infrastructure and pro-bicycling policies.
Summit County was awarded bronze-level BFC status in 2012. Improvements since that time, which helped move Summit to the silver level, include construction of the Dillon Valley bicycle/pedestrian lanes, Phase 1 of the Summit Cove Loop Project, Keystone recpath improvements and the Tenmile recpath extension.
Other key bicycle-friendly projects include the Hoosier Pass feasibility study, continued planning on Fremont Pass, installment of mileage markers and informational kiosks for the entire recpath system, and various natural-surface trail construction and improvement efforts.
“We’re excited and honored that our extensive efforts to improve bicycling in Summit County have been recognized,” Summit County Commissioner Karn Stiegelmeier said. “That said, we’re not resting on our laurels. We have other plans and projects in the works and we hope to achieve gold-level designation by 2020.”