Sunday, May 11, 2008

Quicksilver Road and the St. Vrain Greenway

You're probably familiar with the story of the St. Vrain Greenway going east: the City had a good plan for the Greenway to be extended to the Sandstone Ranch area but some eagles starting nesting along the proposed route, forcing city planners to come up with some alternate routes that bypassed the nesting area. Today, the Greenway stops just short of 119th Street, waiting patiently for the extension to happen.

A new alternate route ("Route C") has recently been proposed that goes alongside Quicksilver Road. Not being familiar with this road, I decided to check it out.

Quicksilver Road is an east-west "eat my dust" (yeah, there were some speeding cars when I was on it) dirt/gravel road that runs between 119th Street and County Road 1. There are a few houses along it, as well as some Boulder County open space and Boulder County's closed "Casa Vista" agricultural dormitory house.

Route C would put the Greenway extension alongside Quicksilver Road (on a distinct path and not part of the road). This would be far enough away from the eagle's nest not to disturb it but it would still be visible from here, even better with a pair of binoculars.

The disadvantage to running the Greenway this far south is that it is away from the trees closer to the river, making it very exposed to sun, the dusty road, and wind. Not too nice in the summer, perhaps better in the cooler months but it would be very representative of typical Boulder County land away from riparian areas. Not all of the Greenway needs to be shaded by trees along waterways.

Quicksilver Road looking west from near County Road 1. To the right (north) is some restricted Boulder County open space.

Boulder County's closed Casa Vista facility along Quicksilver Road:

I'm guessing that the Greenway path would run alongside the southern part of the road (left side of this picture), away from the houses:

Looking north from Quicksilver Road to the river.

Quicksilver Road going east from 119th Street:

As a final note, this "Route C" along Quicksilver Road is the favored option among City staff. Let's see if it happens!

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