Around the Summit: County recognized as a bike-friendly community | SummitDaily.com

Around the Summit: County recognized as a bike-friendly community

Frisco's mayor, Gary Wilkinson, and the members of Frisco's town council participated in Town Clearn Up Day on Saturday, May 21, by working the grill during a post-volunteer barbecue. (From left to right): Councilwoman Deborah Shaner, Councilwoman Jessica Burley, Mayor Wilkinson, Councilman Hunter Mortensen, Councilman Dan Kibbie, Councilman Rick Ihnken and Councilwoman Kim Cancelosi.

Summit recognized as a bike-friendly community

The wheels just keep on turnin'.

Summit County was recognized last week by the League of American Bicyclists with a silver-level Bicycle Friendly Community award. The designation makes the county one of 372 such honorees across the country, up from a bronze award in 2012.

With the announcement, the county solidified its place among a group of leading communities in all 50 states that are transforming neighborhoods to be safer, more enjoyable places to ride. The award encourages regions to evaluate their quality of life, sustainability and transportation networks, while helping them make progress toward improving bicycle friendliness.

"We're excited and honored that our extensive efforts to improve bicycling in Summit County have been recognized," County Commissioner Karn Stiegelmeier said in a news release. "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."

This silver-level award recognizes Summit's commitment to improving conditions for bicycling through investment in promotion, educational programs, infrastructure and pro-bicycling policies. Enhancements since the county was named to the bronze list include construction of the Dillon Valley bicycle-pedestrian lanes, Phase 1 of the Summit Cove Loop Project, Keystone Recpath upgrades and the Tenmile Recpath Extension.

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Still, there are more. Other key bicycle-friendly projects around the are include the Hoosier Pass Feasibility Study, continued planning on Fremont Pass, installation of mileage markers and informational kiosks through the entire Recpath system, and various natural-surface-trail construction and enhancement efforts.

"We applaud these communities for making bicycling a safe and convenient option for transportation and recreation," Bill Nesper, the League of American Bicyclists' vice president of programs, said in the release. "We look forward to continuing to work with these communities as we move closer to our mission of creating a bicycle-friendly America for everyone."

The Bicycle Friendly Community program provides a roadmap to building more pro-bicycle regions, and the application itself has become a rigorous and educational tool. Since its inception, more than 1,200 district communities have applied, and the five levels of the award — diamond, platinum, gold, silver and bronze — incentivize communities to continuously improve.

To learn more about the Summit County Recreational Pathway system, visit: http://www.summitcountyco.gov/openspace. And to learn more about the BFC program, visit: http://www.bikeleague.org/community.

Sheriff's office K9 gets body armor

Summit County Sheriff's Office K9 Danny will receive a bullet and stab protective vest thanks to a charitable donation from non-profit organization Vested Interest in K9s, Inc. K9 Danny's vest will be embroidered with the sentiment "In memory of K9 Rocco, Pittsburgh Bureau of Police." Delivery is expected within eight to ten weeks.

Vested Interest in K9s, Inc. is a 501c (3) charity located in East Taunton, Massachusetts whose mission is to provide bullet and stab protective vests and other assistance to dogs of law enforcement and related agencies throughout the United States. The non-profit was established in 2009 to assist law-enforcement agencies with this potentially lifesaving body armor for their four-legged K9 officers. Since its inception, Vested Interest in K9s, Inc. provided over 1,900 protective vests, in 49 states, through private and corporate donations, at a cost of over $1.6 million. All vests are custom made in the U.S. by Armor Express in Central Lake, Michigan.

The program is open to dogs actively employed in the U.S. with law enforcement or related agencies who are certified and at least 20 months of age. New K9 graduates, as well as K9s with expired vests, are eligible to participate.

The donation to provide one protective vest for a law enforcement K9 is $1,050. Each vest has a value between $1,795 – $2,234, comes with a five-year warranty and an average weight of 4-5 lbs. There are an estimated 30,000 law-enforcement K9s throughout the United States. For more information or to learn about volunteer opportunities, please call 508-824-6978. Vested Interest in K9s, Inc. provides information, lists events and accepts tax-deductible donations of any denomination at http://www.vik9s.org or mailed to P.O. Box 9 East Taunton, MA 02718.

Hanging Lake Trail Closures

Those looking to get a jumpstart on Memorial Day Weekend activities are reminded that the Hanging Lake Trail, a local favorite in Glenwood Canyon in Garfield County, will be closed for public and trail crew safety on Wednesday and Thursday this week, May 25-26.

The Eagle-Holy Cross Ranger District will be performing heavy trail maintenance those two days to replace a foundation to a railing post below the staircase climb. The trail will also be closed again on June 13 and 14 while volunteers build new rock steps to Spouting Rock, remove graffiti, clear-coat rest benches along the trail and repaint bridges. Finally, the trail will be closed one final time in the fall on Sept. 10 while a volunteer group hosts its annual trail workday at the lake.

Much of the work will involve moving large rocks, installing barrier system to protect sensitive habitats along the trail, and other bridge improvements. The Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) will close exit 125 and the off-ramp leading to the popular trail on these dates, and the U.S. Forest Service will post staff at the trailhead.

For more information about the management of Hanging Lake, please contact the Eagle-Holy Cross Office at (970) 827-5715, or stop by during business hours Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

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