Below you will find the responses from the candidates currently running for Fort Collins Mayor & City Council Districts 1, 3, 4 & 5. OMBA submitted a list of questions to each candidate for their take on several trail and open lands related issues. As a 501c3 charitable organization, OMBA is unable to endorse or support any candidate for elected office. But…we can ask them questions on topics related to our mission and share that info to our audience. You are encouraged to read each response and contact each candidate if you would like more information on their positions or responses to our questions. Click here for candidate contact info.
Your 2021 City of Fort Collins Mayoral & City Council Candidates are: (click name to see answers)
- District 1:
- Nick Armstrong
- Susan Gutowsky – did not respond
- District 3:
- District 4:
- District 5:
Candidate Questions & Answers:
- Do you ever ride a mountain bike on our local trails?
- How often do you recreate in any way on our local trails and which is your favorite?
- Singletrack trails and outdoor recreation in general are a major economic component of northern Colorado. OMBA envisions trail expansion as a substantial economic driver in Fort Collins, similar to the Bentonville and northwest Arkansas area. A study completed by the Walton Family Foundation & People for Bikes demonstrated that recreational trails provide an annual economic benefit of $137M to that area. How do you see recreational trails impacting our local economy & what could you do to increase this value?
- Youth mountain biking is exploding in popularity around the state of Colorado and across the nation, but access to mountain biking trails in Fort Collins is extremely limited for non-driving youth. Current options are limited to the more advanced Foothills Trail or riding along busy roadways, such as Taft Hill towards Loveland or CR 38E around the south end of Horsetooth, thus creating significant safety concerns for younger riders. What would you do to improve the safe access to singletrack trails for youth riders & non-driving individuals from our urban areas?
- Bike parks have become active community hubs in many cities & towns across the US & the world. The City of Boulder opened Valmont Bike Park in 2011 to rave reviews, and it is now the Gold Standard for all community bike parks. With no local options, many Fort Collins residents drive themselves and their kids to Boulder and beyond nearly every weekend for this activity. Do you see this as a local need and would you support developing a large-scale municipal bike park in Fort Collins?
- Expanding on the last question…as a complement to the new Poudre Whitewater Park, a downtown area bike park designed & built to fit into the natural environment along the Poudre corridor could create an “outdoor recreation hub” to go along with all the other downtown area amenities, thus providing new opportunities for many residents & families and much improved access for several underserved audiences. Do you see this as a positive or a negative for the City of Fort Collins and why?
- Singletrack trail systems in Fort Collins are seeing more use than ever, with demand growing rapidly every year. The past year’s response to the Covid pandemic has given us a window into what our trails & trailheads will look like as our population growth continues, and without appropriate planning, it doesn’t look good. It has also shown how critical trails and outdoor recreation are to the health & well-being of our residents. What will you do as a Fort Collins Mayor/City Council member to address these overcrowding issues and expand access on City singletrack trails such as Maxwell/Foothills, Coyote Ridge & Bobcat Ridge? How should the City responsibly expand access to City trails for all residents?
- Fort Collins has been a leader in developing a robust, interconnected paved trail system throughout our urban areas. One glaring gap, however, is the lack of connectivity to open space trails on the west side of town such as Lory State Park, Horsetooth Mountain and Coyote Ridge, where the vast majority of trail users are forced to drive to already overcrowded parking areas. OMBA’s Trails Vision Plan supports the development of new multi-use singletrack trails around the south side of Horsetooth, the north side of Horsetooth, and between Cathy Fromme & Coyote Ridge to create a fully connected trail system encircling the reservoir. What benefits do you see with this interconnected system, and would you support collaborating with Larimer County and other agencies on this project? Why or why not?
- “People don’t need trails, the land does.” Conservationists and Recreationists agree that thoughtfully planned, constructed and maintained trails better conserve the land and environment while providing a better experience for users. Mountain bikers tend to be the most engaged of all trail users when it comes to the quality of trails meeting expectations. Mountain bikers also tend to show up in large numbers to provide input for management plans/decisions as well as on-the-ground work. With tens of thousands of mountain bikers residing in Fort Collins and the real potential of significant budget issues over the next several years, what role do you see volunteers playing in regard to trail building, maintenance & patrol assistance on City of Fort Collins singletrack trails?
Thank You to each candidate for taking the time to respond! High-quality access to our trails & open spaces is very important to many Fort Collins residents, and we hope this information helps you form your voting choices. PLEASE VOTE!!!