GOLDEN, Colo. (CBS4) — The City of Golden will expand and harden its closure of Clear Creek access within city limits on Monday and the police chief is enacting temporary waterway restrictions. Belly boats, inner tubes, single chambered rafts, body surfing, swimming, as well as all kayaks, whitewater canoes, multi-chambered river boards, and similar watercraft are all prohibited.
Anyone who trespasses into the creek or on the banks will face a possible citation.
Beginning on Monday, barriers will be put into place, along with signage, to ensure tubers and other waterway recreators exit the creek before they reach the Golden city limits.
Officials said people are not following city mandates and social distancing regulations designed to reduce the spread of coronavirus.
“We are seeing an increase in individuals trying to access the creek within the City limits, a decrease in those wearing masks, and a lot of gatherings that we presume would be in violation of public health orders,” said Slowinski. “This past weekend was far worse than each of the previous weekends and I believe that the status quo is not acceptable and more aggressive action is necessary.”
Last weekend, Golden police officers and park rangers made over 900 contacts with individuals who were not following COVID-related city mandates.
Local businesses that rent out water equipment will be allowed to operate through this weekend before the full closure goes into effect on Monday.
City Manager Jason Slowinski first put an administrative order in place to close off access to the creek on July 1. However, the creek itself was still open and recreators could still enter the water west of city limits. The only safe place to exit the water was still in Golden proper, so officials allowed for egress at Vanover Park (just before the Coors property). That will no longer be allowed.
The restrictions will remain in effect indefinitely.