Gart Tracer iiGovernor John Hickenlooper today at the Interbike conference in Las Vegas promised to make Colorado the top destination for bicyclists in the nation through a program called Colorado Pedals Project. Hickenlooper has committed $100 million over four years.  Here’s the rough breakdown of the plan:

  • $10 million goes to Safe Routes to Schools program
  • $60 million using CDOT funds (but, but, but, our crumbling infrastructure!) from the federal Transportation Alternatives and Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality Improvement Programs
  • $30 million from from GOCO for bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure

While Team Hick rolled out this program with all sorts of facts and figures, he failed to mention his business partner in this scheme also is his uber donor, Ken Gart. From the Denver Post article:

“The Colorado Pedals Project — headed by Denver businessman Ken Gart, the state’s dollar-a-year bike czar — corrals Bicycle Colorado, Great Outdoors Colorado, the Department of Natural Resources and the new Outdoor Recreation Industry Office to work with the Colorado Department of Transportation and the Office of Economic Development in a private-public mingling.”

Gart’s family owns Gart Sports, which perhaps not coincidentally also sells bikes.  PeakNation™ may remember Gart because he was the guy who got Hick in a wee bit of trouble for hitching a ride on a state plane. Here’s what we said then:

“Another interesting point about this complaint is that Gart is no ordinary political donor.  The Gart family has given, by our calculations, over $13,000 to Hick alone, according to TRACER.  Ken Gart and his wife Rebecca have maxed out to Hickenlooper each year he’s been governor.  Ken Gart is part of the Gart Family of Denver.  Have you been to Gart Sporting Goods?  Or have you heard the store’s SNIAGRAB (that’s bargains for those of you who can’t read backwards) ads?  Right, those Garts….”

Hick slipped through the Independent Ethics Commission’s flaccid grasp that time, but what happens when Hick announces a state-funded initiative that directly benefits one of his donors?