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City of Steamboat Springs NEWS

Posted on: October 30, 2019

City Looks At Yampa River Use Fee & E-Bikes Changes

Engage Parks

STEAMBOAT SPRINGS, COLORADO-October 30, 2019-The City of Steamboat Springs Parks & Recreation is seeking community input on two topics of concentration to the community - river user fees and tax or fee on tubes and changes to the e-bike policy and permitted trails.

“We’re very interested in hearing from the community,” said Parks, Open Space & Trails Manger Craig Robinson, who is spearheading the initiatives. “Many things have changed since we first looked at these areas and gauging the attitude of community will go a long way in whether modifications are made.”

The conversation is initially underway around user fees on the Yampa River and a possible tax or fee associated with tubes. City staff and the Parks & Recreation Commission have been tasked with investigating and providing an update on the following items:

  1. Consider opportunities for a tax or fee on river tube sales.
  2. Consider user fees for people floating/tubing the river.

Since the 2004 Yampa River Management plan was adopted, private and commercial river recreation use has increased. Since that time, staff has worked with partners and the community on opportunities to address parking, trash, noise and access issues. Police are challenged with enforcement yet responds to calls as necessary. Rangers have been hired to provide education yet there is ongoing discussion about the benefits of these operations.

At the same time, the city is reevaluating the use of electric bikes (e-bikes) on trails and updating current policies. As e-bike use increases, policies are shifting locally, nationally and internationally allowing more e-bike access on public lands. Currently only Class 1 e-bikes are approved on the Yampa River Core Trail and Walton Creek Trail, yet Class 1 e-bikes are being used on soft surface trails throughout the city, including neighborhood trails and Emerald Mountain trails. Additionally, Class 2 e-bikes are being used daily on the Yampa River Core Trail and other trails. E-bike have three class designations that include pedal to throttle assist.  E-bikes are becoming more widely accepted in more communities and we can learn from their experiences to proactively address e-bike usage.

The general public can provide input online for both projects via engagesteamboat.net by clicking on the Yampa River Recreation Use or E-Bikes project tabs. In addition, registering with the site, will allow interested parties to stay abreast of ongoing discussion around these topics over the coming months.

-WeServeTheCity-

Contact
Craig Robinson, Parks, Open Space & Trails Manager970.871.7034 or email 
Jenny Carey, Open Space & Trails Supervisor, 970.871.7014 or email

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