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Colorado's governor announces $100M state bike plan at Interbike

Published September 16, 2015

LAS VEGAS (BRAIN) — Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper on Wednesday announced the state's commitment of more than $100 million over the next four years for bike programs

"Our goal is to make Colorado the best state for biking in the country, which will help fuel our robust economic growth and tourism industry, move us toward a cleaner environment and advance our goal of being the healthiest state in the nation," said Hickenlooper, who gave the keynote address at Interbike Wednesday.

Colorado is often ranked the fittest state, and was recently ranked the most physically active state in the country. But the state still has an obesity rate of 23 percent. A nationwide study found that kids only spend 4 -7 minutes outside in unstructured play every day, but spend 7 - 10 hours a day staring at video screens. Biking is one of the ways Colorado is aiming to change these stats.

The four-year plan and $100 million budget will allow Colorado to put more bikes in people's hands and make it safer to ride bikes by adding bike lanes and improving driver education.

"We want to encourage riders of all shapes, sizes and abilities by making biking as safe and accessible as possible statewide," said Ken Gart, a former retailer who Hickenlooper has appointed Colorado's bike czar. "With more than 5,000 miles of biking trails throughout the state, and events like Pedal The Plains and the U.S.A. Pro Challenge, Colorado is poised to take this lead."

"On behalf of the entire bike industry, I'd like to thank Gov. Hickenlooper for sharing his vision today for making Colorado the best state for bicycling," said Tim Blumenthal, the president of PeopleForBikes,  which is based in Boulder, Colorado, and sponsored the keynote breakfast.. "Today, more than ever, PeopleForBikes is proud to call Colorado home. We will be excited to see the ripple effect across the country of the Governor's dynamic plan for biking in Colorado: Which states will take today's proclamation as a healthy challenge?"

At the state level, the Colorado Pedals Project, Bicycle Colorado, Great Outdoors Colorado, and many other organizations are working with the Colorado Department of Transportation, Office of Economic Development and other state agencies, to facilitate strategy, distribute money, and accomplish shared goals.

Great Outdoors Colorado (GOCO) invests lottery proceeds in Colorado's rivers, parks, open space, wildlife, and trails and has been the state's single largest funding source for trails.


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