GOLDEN, Colo. (KDVR) — The City of Golden announced Wednesday that it will close all access points to Clear Creek within city limits over the Fourth of July holiday weekend and until further notice due to safety concerns associated with COVID-19.
“Last weekend’s crowds along the creek gave us deep concern in seeing large gatherings, no social distancing, and very few people wearing masks,” said Golden City Manager Jason Slowinski. “The July 4th holiday weekend typically brings even bigger crowds to Golden. With the rise in COVID-19 cases in neighboring states where many visitors come from, we want to make sure we are not adding to the problem here in Colorado.”
Residential streets near the creek will be blocked, allowing for local access only. Temporary fencing will block all access points to enter Clear Creek, however the trail will still be accessible, according to a release from the City of Golden.
The Golden city manager posted an administrative order Wednesday, requiring masks on all public property.
The Golden City Council will hold a special session on Wednesday, July 8 to consider an emergency ordinance requiring face masks. A previous resolution strongly suggested that people wear masks and encouraged businesses to mandate them within their buildings.
Kayakers like Tom Mullinex say the city shouldn’t be punishing those behaving responsibly.
“It’s super irritating and frustrating to take one of the outlets we have away from us,” he said. “At least let those of us that are doing it safely, in the water, not congregating on river banks, at least allow us that.”
City Manager Jason Slowinski says that’s something the city will consider at the July 8 meeting.
“We want to make it an environment where they can enjoy it and do it safely,” he says. “So one of the things we’ll be looking at is how we can reopen to certain uses.”
Michael Suchoparek, who kayaks multiple times down the creek each week, says he hopes they can do so quickly.
“The river’s only flowing for so long, and you only have a couple months of the season, so to shut it down and drive us indoors may have diminishing returns,” he says.