Greenway cleanup this weekend in Longmont, Colorado

When I began Cyclelicious in 2005, I lived, worked, and biked in the city of Longmont, Colorado which is located in the eastern part of Boulder County. Ten years prior to that, the city committed to improving cycling across town. By the time I moved to California in 2006, the city was well on its way of creating a usable trail network. The two crowning achievements – the 4 mile long Left Hand Creek Trail and the 12 mile long St. Vrain Trail – were nearing completion. Both provide scenic biking and walking opportunities yet are very usable as cross-town transportation corridors. The Left Hand Creek Trail connects to the LoBo Trail, which connects the cities of Boulder, Gunbarrel, Niwot, and Longmont. The St. Vrain Greenway stretches east well into Weld County, with plans to connect eventually to St. Vrain State Park at I-25.

Five days of heavy rain over the Rocky Mountains last September, 2013 undid 20 years of effort and construction. Most trails in Longmont are near rivers, streams and irrigation ditches. You probably saw news footage of washed out highways and bridges. The same thing happened to Longmont greenways, causing an estimated $21 million in damage.

I’m happy to see Bicycle Longmont — the local advocacy group — talking with city officials about the repairs. They plan to have minor damage repaired by January.

More significant engineering will be required along segments of the St. Vrain, where the river has changed course after the flooding. The city is awaiting a decision by the Army Corps of Engineers regarding the new channels.

In the meantime, many surviving segments of trails along the St. Vrain and Left Hand are sound but are clogged with significant flood debris. To help with the effort to reopen the trails, Bicycle Longmont is hosting a trail cleanup this Saturday. Volunteers are meeting at the Longmont Museum on Quail Road at 10 AM, Saturday, November 2, 2013. Please bring shovels, gloves, and push brooms. Learn more –> meetup.com/longmont-on-bikes.

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