Urban Trail Standards for Multi-Use Trails in Colorado Springs
Urban trails within Colorado Springs are an important part of the community. Urban trails are not only used for recreational purposes, but also provide residents an off-street transportation system for non-motorized uses. The current standard for easement/corridor width is 50 feet, where feasible. A 50 foot corridor is found to provide adequate buffer room from other uses (roads, buildings, etc), a safer line-of-sight and generally a more pleasant trail experience. The 2000-2010 Parks, Recreation & Trails Master Plan identifies a three-tiered system approach.
Tier 1 trails are multi-purpose trails that can accommodate a variety of trail users including walkers, joggers, recreational bikers, commute bikers, roller-bladers, and horseback riders (as appropriate) within the same trail corridor. A soft shoulder on each side of the trail is provided to reduce user conflicts. The main trail tread is a single, twelve-foot trail paved with concrete. The soft shoulder consists of crushed gravel, and provides a four-foot surface adjacent to or separated from the main tread (depending on site conditions).
Tier 2 trails act as "feeder" trails for the Tier 1 trails, and consist of a single, twelve-foot trail paved with concrete or asphalt. A four-foot soft shoulder on the side of the trail consists of crushed gravel or mowed grass.
Tier 3 trails are generally located in the mountains or foothills, and are less improved than a Tier 1 or 2 trail. Tier 3 trails are typically a four- to six-foot wide soft surface tread with no shoulders. Most users are hikers, mountain bikers and equestrians.