A look at cycling in Parker

Posted 9/3/19

Cycling through Parker can be tricky, but that's why most residents in town stick to designated trails and bike paths. Most bicycle enthusiasts in the town frequent the local trails. Parker maintains …

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A look at cycling in Parker

Posted

Cycling through Parker can be tricky, but that's why most residents in town stick to designated trails and bike paths.

Most bicycle enthusiasts in the town frequent the local trails. Parker maintains more than 27 miles of concrete paved, multi-use trails throughout the town as well as more than six miles of natural surface equestrian trail along Cherry Creek and a 1.8-mile natural surface, multi-use loop trail in the Idyllwilde area.

The Cherry Creek Regional Trail is "by far" the most popular trail in town, according to Dennis Trapp, who works in the town's parks and rec division.

"The town predominantly has two types of cyclists," Trapp said. "This includes long-distance cyclists that tend to use our regional trail system (including bike lanes) that connect to other trail systems that surround Parker. Other cyclists include the local 'recreational' riders which consist mostly of families and young adults."

Soon, cyclists in Parker will be able to bike from Parker to Chatfield Reservoir with the completion of the High Plains Trail Connection project.

The only "ghost bike" in Parker commemorates Chuck Vogel, the cyclist who was killed July 4 on Pine Drive. A ghost bike is a bike painted white and retired in memoriam of a cyclist who is killed on the road. Vogel was the only cyclist killed in the Parker area since November 2017, when Jake Kirby was killed riding his bike on Hess Road, just west of town limits.

The Vogel and Kirby cases weren't in the area tracked by the Parker Police Department because they occurred in the jurisdiction of the Douglas County Sheriff's Office. The Parker Police Department tracks cycling and pedestrian fatalities within town limits. No cyclist has been killed on the road in town limits in the past 10 years.

A Colorado Open Records request for cyclist fatalities in Douglas County was requested Aug. 23 but the information was unavailable at the time of publication.

The main road through Parker is Highway 83, Parker Road, a state highway. Popular cycling spots on Hess Road and Crowfoot Valley Road, both of which are county roads, have a painted white lane for bikes. Some parts of town have painted bike lanes, such as on Hess Road between Motsenbocker Road and Chambers Road.

Pine Drive, where Vogel was fatally struck in an alleged hit-and-run collision, is a popular spot for cyclists as well because of its scenic overlook of the town and its relatively little traffic.

Vogel's widow, Teri, hopes the ghost bike brings light to state laws in hopes of holding drivers more accountable, especially in the case of a hit-and-run.

“We want Chuck's death to mean something — to have a lasting and positive impact,” she said. “We intend to work alongside Bicycle Colorado to change the laws to make sure that drivers who hit a cyclist, and then flee the scene, are punished severely — because their choice to leave the scene can mean the difference between life and death."

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