Cyclists 4 Community matches funds for study to build bike path from Boulder to Lyons

Cyclists 4 Community Chairman Rob Andrew described it as the culmination of “a lot of hours and work and paperwork” — a check for $30,000 in matching funds that will kick-start plans to build a bikeway from Boulder to Lyons.

Cyclists 4 Community and Boulder County Commissioner Claire Levy, center, stand for a portrait with a check for $30,000 in matching funds for a feasibility study on bikeway from Boulder to Lyons. (Cliff Grassmick/Staff Photographer)

Members of Wednesday Morning Velo, a Boulder cycling group, gathered outside Amante North on Broadway on Wednesday morning to present the check to Boulder County Commissioner Claire Levy, a proponent for new bikeways to be built across the Boulder County area.

“I am thrilled to be able to accept this money,” she said to the crowd of more than 70 cyclists.

Cyclists 4 Community, an advocacy group founded in 2013, seeks to create safe roads for Boulder County cyclists and drivers alike. Gathering money for the project has been a long time coming, according to Cyclists 4 Community Board Member Mark Flolid. Matching funds were the first step to earning a potential grant to build the Boulder to Lyons bike path that cyclists have been petitioning for.

“What’s really important about this is that it’s not only good for cyclists,” he said. “This is good for all fellow drivers, too, because they feel unsafe passing these bikes on the road. If we can get these bike lanes in place, (cyclists and drivers) will be safer.”

The board of Cyclists 4 Community knows they have a long, winding road ahead of them. The group hopes that a tax measure on the ballot this November, Ballot Measure 1C, will extend the existing 0.01% transportation sales tax in Boulder County, which helped fund mechanisms for bicycling projects and transportation. Once county support is secured, the advocacy group will apply for funding at the regional, state, and federal level as programs open throughout late 2022 and early 2023.

“This is a big deal,” Flolid said. “We need these bike lanes.”

Levy said she is ready to do whatever she can to help. The money from Cyclists 4 Community, she explained, will be put in the 2023 budget for Boulder County to fund bike paths such as the one from Boulder to Lyons the group is seeking.

“This is the first actual tangible money that we have that is dedicated to this project,” she said.

Levy and the Board of County Commissioners have big plans for cyclists, including improvements to the US 36 bikeway, the LoBo Longmont to Boulder trail, and building an “eight-foot wide concrete trail with grade separation at major intersections” on the Diagonal Highway.

“My goal is that you can seamlessly get around Boulder County by any mode of transportation, and it’s going to be safe, and it’s going to be interconnected,” Levy said.

For Russ Chandler, securing this funding feels like the beginning of something big.

“(I’m) just very proud and excited,” he said. “It felt just like a distant dream and now it feels like it’s actually going to happen.”

Chandler, the founder of Cyclists 4 Community and managing owner of Full Cycle in Boulder, has been cycling for most of his life and seeks a future where bikes and public transit are the norms, not the exceptions to travel. When creating C4C, he wanted to change the narrative.

“As cyclists, we wanted to change the perception of cyclists as being entitled,” he said. “(Cyclists) recognize the privilege that they have, and they’re giving back to the community to make it stronger.”

For everyone involved at Cyclists 4 Community and Wednesday Morning Velo, Wednesday’s event was a glimpse at a Boulder that puts bikes at the forefront. The road ahead is long, but the payoff will be all the more rewarding, they said.

“It should be safe to ride,” Chandler said. “Cycling is the future.”

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