Multiuse bike path could create dangers

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Once again, as the Los Alamos Monitor reported, the National Park Service is selling its multiuse path in significant part as a safety feature, saying, in essence, one of its major purposes is to get existing cyclist users of these roads onto a path.
This assertion of danger is wholly unsubstantiated for all but small portions of this route (i.e., N.M. 4 between White Rock and E. Jemez Road comes to mind) and certainly an assertion of danger should not be made without challenge. Furthermore, a multiuse path will probably not serve the needs of the cyclists in question and indeed, may create serious hazards where none now exist.
The roads in question have been used by scores of local riders and cyclists from as far away as Santa Fe for decades. These roads are the home of two triathlons and the oldest road race in the Southwest, the Tour of Los Alamos. The cyclists in question are fast recreational, fitness and race riders who would not be served by a path shared with casual users and pedestrians and whose design could seriously impede shared use.
Further, these roads are specifically mentioned as regional cycling resources in the 2005 Los Alamos County bike plan, which I wrote much of and which was adopted by council. Multiuse paths do not take the place of road resources for the kind of cyclist who rides this route.
A “grand path” is certainly an exciting idea and may well attract other constituents, both resident and visitor, and benefit both the park and the county, as well as the health and well being of those who do not currently hike or bicycle. I’ve actually supported this for a long time, and brought it up a few years ago when I was chair of the Transportation Board and when there was an RFP for such collaboration between national parks and nearby communities. That is good.
I have repeatedly made these points as have others and they seem to have largely fallen on deaf ears. I would suggest you (and others getting this email) read the following two blog posts and comments following for more information. I also suggest other riders contact you directly via the above address.
labikes.blogspot.com/2014/06/los-alamosbandelier-loop-trail-surfaces.html and
Khalil J. Spencer
League of
American Bicyclists
cycling instructor 1173