Rec path reform on the way |

Rec path reform on the way

BRECKENRIDGE – From athletic cyclists to toddlers in strollers, making all the different recreational path users get along on the trails is easier said than done.

Summit County Open Space and Trails managers want to set up some new rules and new signs because it’s getting a little crazy out there – especially in the summer.

County trail specialist Scott Reid successfully asked Summit County commissioners on Monday for the green light to reform trail management.

“Use of the rec path system has increased dramatically the past several years, prompting multiple management challenges for us,” Reid said.

Existing regulations established in 1988 have not kept up with the times. Back then there were fewer people using the trail system year-round.

Now hundreds of bicyclists, walkers, inline skaters, wheelchairs, young children, dog walkers, snowshoers and cross country skiers use trails throughout the county every day.

To settle the debate between the fastest and the more leisurely users of the trails, last fall county commissioners decidedly changed the term “bike paths” to “rec paths.”

The policy change was a message to bicyclists that they don’t have supremacy over other trail users.

But that doesn’t mean walkers can block entire trails. Reid is proposing a series of signs that establish etiquette and conduct for trail users.

Reid said he is not sure whether new signs and policies would necessarily help in all conflicts on busy days on the trails. The new plan will consider how to better enforce trail regulations.

The existing regulations are enforced with a class 2 petty offense punishment. The citation clause requires public hearings before revisions can be approved by county commissioners in the next several months.

County trails managers and county commissioners also plan to revisit motorized use of the Miner’s Creek Road path, the trail through Bill’s Ranch subdivision and the Tenmile Canyon path.

In the winter, snowmobile tracks appear on trails other than the ones where such motorized use is allowed.

Reid’s timeline for the full reform of the county trail system is 2007, with phases of improvements beginning this summer.

Christine McManus can be

contacted at (970) 668-3998, ext. 229 or at

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