Frisco officials look to take trail system to the next level
July 19, 2016
The town of Frisco is in the early stages of ensuring it puts its best foot forward.
After receiving a $50,000 grant in April from Great Outdoors Colorado (GOCO) and following the completion of other priority projects such as construction on Main Street, the town has embarked on its first-ever comprehensive connectivity strategy. That process kicked off with a trails master plan community open house this past Thursday, July 14 in conjunction with its free outdoor concert series. The hope was to garner nearby foot traffic to discuss, well, foot traffic.
"It's not only about recreation," said Joyce Allgaier, Frisco's community development director. "People in Frisco are starting to find better ways to get around town and get out of their car. We'd like to encourage that to reduce congestion and keep a healthy community. We just want to make it easy to get from places."
The walls of the 1st and Main Building reverberated with neighboring music as members of the public showed up to offer their opinions about needed summer and winter improvements. Locals penned recommendations for everything from hiking and mountain bike trail upgrades and enhancements to new groomed Nordic and fat bike paths, and even the potential for water routes and signage on Dillon Reservoir to enjoy its unique system of islands.
““We don’t want to kill the goose that laid the golden egg by having certain trails overused and other trails not used at all because there’s not enough information. So there’s got to be that good balance.””Alicia DunnFrisco resident
Other appeals were less intensive, with a handful of requests coming for stepped-up enforcement of leash laws and more dog waste disposal sites on trails. Longtime resident Alicia Dunn, meanwhile, was more much more concerned with the in-town conveyance of the region's bipeds over those with four legs.
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"I like to be able to walk out of a shop and not worry that I'm going to be hit by a bike or a skateboarder on the sidewalk," said Dunn. "So I think we need to have a dismount area in the core section of downtown and then offer an alternate route for people to take. People need to understand that bikes are welcome, but you've got to walk them between this area."
Specifically, Dunn, who along with her husband Peter has lived just outside of Frisco town limits for 34 years, asked that both Granite and Galena streets, as well as alleyways, be considered for substitute biking passages to cut down on collisions with pedestrians. A cyclist herself, she was not a proponent proposed bike lanes along Main Street and instead asked that bikes not be allowed between 1st and 8th streets.
To assist with the planning stages, the town has enlisted the services of a few different consultants including the Frisco-based companies SE Group and Fehr & Peers, as well as Breckenridge resident Mary Hart of her eponymous architectural and design firm. The main goal is to offer an open process that casts a wide net and attempts to satisfy people from many backgrounds, from those individuals who are advanced recreationalists to residents simply seeking refined plowing policies to avoid winter parking from entering their neighborhoods. The key, said officials — especially because so much of the area lands border each other and overlap with entities such as the county and U.S. Forest Service — is collaboration.
"If you don't partner," said the SE Group's Gabby Voeller, "you're not going to be able to accomplish nearly the amount that you want."
A town-wide trails master plan was a main point of discussion during the municipal elections in April, with increased numbers of citizens calling for a program as the region sees both considerable growth and swelling visitation annually. Between the initial GOCO grant — Frisco is shooting for more money from the organization as well as possibly from CDOT — the town already has some funds earmarked for the project, which is planned for completion between February and March.
"There's so many different uses people want on the trails," said Mayor Gary Wilkinson, "and so we have to prioritize what we want to focus on and what can we improve. As traffic increases, we want to be able to move away from that and have different types of transportation options around town. A lot of it's connectivity and making it safe for a variety of users."
After collecting and compiling this initial feedback between writing wishes and lines and dotted segments drawn on maps at the event, the town and its consultant groups will review them all and come up with an initial proposal of a trail network and sections of connectivity. For some like Alicia Dunn, it's been a long time coming and can't be finalized soon enough.
"We live in the most beautiful corner of the universe, right here," she said. "We don't want to kill the goose that laid the golden egg by having certain trails overused and other trails not used at all because there's not enough information. So there's got to be that good balance."
Citizens can find an interactive map of up-to-date details and follow Frisco's master plan process at: http://www.friscotrails.com.
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