A safer Baseline for a thriving community

This project will create safer conditions for walking, bicycling and driving on Baseline Road while enhancing connections to popular community destinations.

Completion Date
2023 (Phase 1) | 2026 (Phase 2)
Current Phase

Project Overview

This section of Baseline Road is one of the most-traveled corridors in the city and is home to many key community destinations and services, including affordable housing, grocery stores, shops, health centers, and student housing for the University of Colorado Boulder.

However, it also has a high number of serious injury crashes compared to other streets in the city and walking and biking can feel uncomfortable.

This project will make Baseline Road safer, more comfortable and more connected for all community members, however you choose to travel.

The project will have two phases. Phase 1 of the project takes advantage of pre-scheduled pavement resurfacing as part of the city’s Pavement Management Program (PMP) to begin installing improvements sooner using city funds. In 2024, the city will develop the design for further improvements in Phase 2 after receiving federal grant funding from the Transportation Improvement Program (TIP).

a car traveling down the road while a person on a bike travels through green markings on a bike lane

Project Details

Phase 1 of the project takes advantage of pre-scheduled pavement resurfacing as part of the city’s Pavement Management Program (PMP) to install improvements sooner using city funds. Phase 2 will include further infrastructure enhancements on Baseline Road after the city receives federal grant funds in 2024.

a visual graphic of the Baseline project timeline

Phase 1 (2022-2023)

Paving and Strategic Improvements from 28th Street to Foothills Parkway (City of Boulder Funds)

Changes are informed by what we heard from the community in fall 2022. This includes:

  • Narrow and restripe travel lanes, a safety design that has been shown in studies to reduce vehicle speeds.
  • Repave and restripe Mohawk from Baseline Road to Pawnee Drive to better accommodate all travelers to and from Baseline.
  • Reorganize intersections by extending the curb and tightening turn radii to shorten pedestrian and bicycle crossing distances, expand the pedestrian area, slow vehicles and improve driver sightlines.
  • Provide physical protection to improve comfort and safety at strategic, prioritized parts of the bike lane.
    • “Hardening” or physical protection through concrete tall curbs in strategic areas to replace existing striped buffers or flexible delineator posts. The city’s tall curbs will showcase art from a local artist, Talia Swartz Parsell, commissioned through the Community Vitality Office of Arts and Culture muralist roster. View an example photo of tall curbs in action in Canada.

As we begin to achieve real, tangible results on the CAN, we invite you to continue helping shape Boulder’s key corridors during future community engagement, including the upcoming Oct. 24 Iris Avenue open house.

  • In other places, flexible delineator posts and a striped buffer separate the bike lane.
  • Add new crosswalks at the Inca Parkway intersection.
  • Add green bike lane markings at intersections.
  • Consolidate bus stops to reduce conflicts between bikes and buses and to improve ADA accessibility and pedestrian access to remaining stops.

Phase 2 (2024-2026)

Comprehensive Multimodal Enhancements from 30th Street to Foothills Parkway (Federal Funds)

The city will develop Phase 2 after receiving $3.2 million in federal grant funding from the Transportation Improvement Program (TIP) in 2024. These funds will make it possible to create more significant changes to the corridor.

Examples of possible improvements include:

  • Complete bike lane protection

  • Intersection and pedestrian crossing improvements

  • Transit efficiency and safety improvements, such as floating bus islands

  • Additional improvements, such as upgrading some Phase 1 improvements to more permanent features

Community Engagement

We reached out to hear from people who live, work, shop and travel along Baseline Road through a Be Heard Boulder questionnaire, walking and biking tours of the area, an on-demand open house, emails, office hours and more throughout 2022.

There will be additional community engagement opportunities once Phase 2 planning and design begins.

A gif of a website about the Baseline project

What We Heard

Learn more about what we heard during the first phase of community engagement and how your input is shaping the future of safety, comfort and connectivity at Baseline at the Baseline Road Transportation Safety Project On-Demand Open House.

In fall 2022 we analyzed crash data and more than 400 comments from a questionnaire and on-demand open house. We heard from commuters, residents, students, key stakeholders and advocacy organizations that:

  • Wide travel lanes encourage speeds higher than the posted limit

  • High vehicle travel and turning speeds make walking and biking feel unsafe

  • Drivers feel unsafe turning onto or off of the corridor because of other drivers speeding – they’re afraid of being rear-ended or sideswiped

  • Distances between marked pedestrian crossings are too long and many people cross in the middle of blocks or at unmarked intersections

  • Pedestrian crossing times are short

  • People feel unsafe on sidewalks and bike lanes due to turning vehicles

  • Rutted pavement and uplifted sidewalk panels pose tripping hazards

  • Many transit stops are not accessible and lack shelters, benches, trash cans and secure bicycle parking

  • Buses frequently cross bicycle lanes to access transit stops

  • People bicycling in the existing bicycle lanes feel unsafe and uncomfortable

baseline road map

Existing Conditions

Click through the slideshow below or view the On-Demand Open House to see photos of existing conditions on Baseline Road.

Project Background

Baseline Road is a key corridor for local and regional travel and provides important transportation connections for people who live, work, play and study in Boulder. The section of the road from 30th Street to Foothills Parkway features a number of popular community destinations including grocery stores, shops, senior centers and apartments and is close to both the University of Colorado Boulder's main campus and Williams Village Student Housing.

According to the city's 2022 Safe Streets Report, this section of Baseline Road is one of the top 10 crash locations for people walking and bicycling in the city and has been identified in the Denver Regional Council of Government's Regional High Injury Network as a Critical Corridor. The road was also identified as a Priority Corridor to make improvements on as part of the city's Core Arterial Network (CAN) initiative to improve safety on our high-traffic, higher-speed streets.

The CAN is the connected system of protected bicycle lanes, intersection enhancements, pedestrian facilities, and transit facility upgrades that will help reduce the potential for severe crashes and make it more comfortable and convenient for people to get where they need to go along Boulder’s main corridors.

Words that say "A safer Baseline for a thriving community"

Other projects on Baseline Road

Additional changes are coming to Baseline Road as part of other ongoing projects.

HSIP-funded construction is planned to begin in late 2023 to early 2024. This includes:

Baseline at Mohawk

This intersection is part of the Vision Zero Action Plan. Mohawk Drive is also a Neighborhood GreenStreet. We will:

  • Reconstruct northbound and southbound signal poles

  • Change the signal operation to improve bicyclist and pedestrian crossing safety

Baseline and Canyon Creek

The city will upgrade the traffic signal for people crossing the street. The existing rectangular rapid flashing beacon will change to a pedestrian signal. This means switching the blinking yellow lights to a formal traffic signal.

The city will resurface the street to repair impacts from a waterline replacement in 2022. Work will take place on Baseline Road from Foothills Parkway to Cherryvale Road. Construction is scheduled for 2024.

The city was awarded over $700,000 to improve pedestrian and bicycle infrastructure near Manhattan Middle School. The city will receive the funds in 2024 and begin to develop a conceptual design with the community, which may impact Baseline Road. Construction is planned for 2025.

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