Governor John Hickenlooper has long been a cycling proponent. Now, he's calling for the construction of a bike trail that would allow riders to cross the state from Wyoming to New Mexico -- and a new bill backed by a Republican state senator may offer a way to make it happen.
Yesterday, as reported by the Colorado Springs Independent. Hickenlooper spoke at the Antlers Hilton Hotel. As part of his address, which mainly tackled economic issues, the Indy notes that Hickenlooper "said he would like to work with the Springs to finish the Ring the Peak trail, and also connect long bike trails, including one that would stretch from Wyoming to New Mexico."
Senate Bill 15-081 doesn't specifically reference this last concept. But the proposal, offered by Senator Larry Crowder of Alamosa (a community that could definitely use the sort of economic infusion recreational cycling can generate), backs the expansion of bike trails across the state and suggests that funding could be provided via proceeds from the state lottery.
The document's summary reads:
The bill expresses the intent of the general assembly that the division of parks and wildlife (division) and local governments spend some of the net lottery proceeds that they receive to construct and expand recreational bicycle trails along state highways, county roads, and municipal streets and clarifies that the following classes of constitutionally allocated net lottery proceeds are eligible for expenditure for that purpose:
• The 40% of net lottery proceeds that are allocated to the conservation trust fund for distribution to municipalities, counties, and other eligible parties for parks, recreation, and open space purposes;
• The portion of the 40% of net lottery proceeds that is allocated to the great outdoors Colorado trust fund and further suballocated to the division for investments in the outdoor recreation resources of Colorado; and
• The 10% of net lottery proceeds that are allocated to the division for the acquisition, development, and improvement of new and existing state parks, recreation areas, and recreational trails.
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Given the similarity of the goals espoused by Hickenlooper and Crowder, a cross-state bike trail could earn bipartisan support -- a rarity in this political era. Read the entire bill below.
Send your story tips to the author, Michael Roberts.