The future of biking and walking in and around Arapahoe County is looking bright.
The Arapahoe County Board of County Commissioners voted unanimously Oct. 17 to adopt the Bicycle and Pedestrian Master Plan, which includes findings, policy recommendations, design guide and a proposed network of on-street and trail facilities and projects needed to complete the network.
The Plan was previously adopted by the Arapahoe County Planning Commission Oct. 3 and will become part of the Arapahoe County Comprehensive Master Plan through the year 2035.
The Bicycle and Pedestrian Master Plan is a joint effort of the County’s Open Spaces and Public Works and Development’s Transportation Division and has been in development since May 2016.
It includes a vision and goals for biking and walking in and around the County and provides a framework for creating a comprehensive on-street bicycle and trail network that safely connects neighborhoods and destinations and encourages walking and bicycling, as well as other forms of use including equestrians, for travel and recreation.
The Plan covers both the incorporated and unincorporated portions of the County and was developed in close coordination with all local municipalities. Public feedback also was sought and implemented during the process through public meetings, an online survey and engagement through social media, which reached over 62,000 residents and businesses.
“Our community has shown their passion for this project and it’s important that we support the development of a comprehensive, strategic Bicycle and Pedestrian Plan,” says Commissioner Nancy Sharpe, Board Chair. “This Plan will provide guidance as new facilities are created and allow for more citizens to safely access and enjoy biking and walking for travel and recreation.”
The Plan also will help guide future development of bike and pedestrian facilities through a variety of on-street and trail improvements outlined in the proposed network.
On-street bicycle treatments include bike routes, bike lanes, multipurpose paths and new options, such as buffered bike lanes and protected bikeways. Off-street trail updates include new trail connections, links to the on-street bike network, future trailheads and underpasses and widening of some regional trails that experience heavy use by bicyclists and pedestrians.
The Bicycle and Pedestrian Master Plan is a long-term vision that identifies infrastructure projects to create a low-stress network that will be completed 20 – 30 years in the future. Based on the goals of the Plan, projects that will have the biggest impact on connecting the network and users have been prioritized. The completion of the network will occur over time as resources become available.