What is the Colorado Pedals Project?

In 2015, Governor Hickenlooper announced a four-year initiative designed to make Colorado the #1 Bike State.

The Pedals Project seeks to combine public and private funding and put a significant, high-level emphasis on the need for, and benefits of, improved bicycling resources.

The Pedals Project is housed within Bicycle Colorado in collaboration with the Governor’s office and Colorado Bike Czar Ken Gart. Together, we are coordinating across agencies and organizations, and leverage existing assets, to ensure Colorado leads the nation as the best place to ride a bike.

In 2015, the League of American Bicyclists ranked Colorado the seventh most bicycle-friendly state in the nation. We are both proactively working to move up in ranking and we are going beyond the LAB’s scope to innovate what it means to be #1. We want to demonstrate what it means to take that goal seriously and become an example that the other 49 states can follow.

How do we become #1?

Under the banner of the Pedals Project, Bicycle Colorado works with various transportation organizations, advocacy groups and government agencies to identify opportunities for additional bicycle infrastructure and bicycle friendly policies, and helps ensure that existing funding, plans and goals are aligned toward that work. We are also helping to attract additional resources and expanding programming for the Pedals Project as we track, encourage and facilitate progress toward the stated goals. Here’s an overview of what we’re working on:


  • COMPLETE OUR STREETS. Proactive and predictable implementation of bicycle and pedestrian accommodations throughout the state.
  • FUND ACTIVE TRANSPORTATION. Increase and align transportation funding with policies and priorities that support safe options for bicyclists and pedestrians.
  • ELEVATE BICYCLING AND WALKING. Elevate activity of bicycling and walking in Colorado as a core aspect of our cultural identity as Coloradans, a key tourism driver and transformative vehicle to health and economic development.
  • IMPROVE HEALTH AND SAFETY. Improve health and safety for people on bikes as well as pedestrians and motorists through education, awareness, enforcement and facility design.
  • EXPAND PARTICIPATION. Increase opportunities for riders of all ages, abilities and economic status to walk and ride a bike using encouragement, programs, projects and non-infrastructure bicycle/walking accommodations.

Biking can be such a positive force, and I think being the best biking state is going to fuel economic growth and tourism. It’s going to lead us toward a cleaner environment, and it’s going to help us be the healthiest state in America.

John Hickenlooper

Governor of Colorado


Within Bicycle Colorado, the Pedals Project is led by our policy team. Reach out to our staff if you have questions or are interested in partnering on this project.

Significant achievements

Colorado the Beautiful / Colorado Trail System Project

The Colorado Trail System (CTS) is part of Colorado the Beautiful, one of the governor’s Pedals Project initiatives. The CTS intends to serve as the connection between people, trails, and technology by incorporating every mile of trail into a single map. Colorado Parks and Wildlife is coordinating the efforts of federal, state, county, and local agencies to create a comprehensive and authoritative repository of recreational trails for public consumption. CTS will make shared trail and GIS data available to anyone looking to get out and enjoy our amazing trails and beautiful landscapes.

Explore the project and find out how to contribute. The resource is expected to fully launch in spring 2017.

16 in 16 Trails

This project, led by the Colorado Department of Natural Resources and Great Outdoors Colorado, was put forth by the governor to identify 16 important trail gaps, missing trail segments and unbuilt trails across the state and elevate them to priority status by 2016. See the 16 trails and the statewide trails strategic plan.

Economic and Health Benefits of Bicycling and Walking Study (2016)

This comprehensive study reveals the who, what, where, how and why of bicycling, walking and health in the state of Colorado. It is a first of its kind and could set a national standard for gathering and legitimizing such data. The results show that a majority of people in Colorado own a bicycle and they are getting out and using it, which makes our work at Bicycle Colorado all the more vital. Bicycling substantially supports our local businesses, attracts jobs and tourists to the state and makes communities more livable.

Permanent Safe Routes to School Funding

Colorado is one of just a handful of states to have permanently funded this program. The Colorado Department of Transportation now makes $2.5 million available each year for projects and encouragement that enhance the walk and bike options for our children to safely get to school.

Since 2006, the Bicycle Colorado education team has worked with communities throughout the state to obtain funding for Safe Routes to School programs. We are a leading statewide resource in how to obtain and use these funds. Learn more, here.

Major Initiatives

  • Increase number of bike accommodations on state roads and trails
  • Create and implement a public safety campaign to increase awareness of bicyclists and pedestrians
  • Track compliance with the Colorado Department of Transportation’s (CDOT) updated Bicycle and Pedestrian Policy and Procedural Directives
  • Pilot a program to replace Share the Road signs with more effective 3 Feet to Pass signs
  • Pilot active transportation program in Medicaid-dense communities
  • Identify and promote key missing trail connections between communities
  • Connect Colorado communities to opportunities for biking and walking infrastructure projects


The Colorado Pedals Project would not be possible without the cooperation, assistance and partnership of these groups:

Bicycle Colorado

A bill to increase fines on people who "roll coal" against cyclists, motorists, etc., continues to move through the legislature!

Massive study finds cyclists ... experience dramatically lower risk of dying from any cause than those who drive. https://t.co/LwmW6dl2TV

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