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
Community Engagement

Project Overview

The Baseline Road Transportation Safety Project is a multi-year project focused on improving safety along Baseline Road, one of the city’s most-traveled corridors. This section of Baseline Road — from 30th Street to Foothills Parkway — 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.

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 was identified in the Denver Regional Council of Government's Regional High Injury Network, the 9 percent of roads in the region where the majority of serious injury and fatal crashes occur. The regional High-Injury Network also identifies critical corridors, the highest-density corridors for serious injury and fatal crashes. This segment of Baseline road is also a critical corridor.

The road was also identified as a priority corridor to make improvements 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. The CAN initiative is one of City Council’s top ten priorities.

Project Details

Phase 2 (2024 – 2026)

  • Phase 2 began in early 2024 and will focus on furthering the improvements started in Phase 1 using newly distributed federal funds. The city received $3.2 million in federal grant funding to support the comprehensive implementation of multimodal, capital-intensive improvements, such as completing the bike lane and intersection protection provided with roadway repaving in Phase 1, additional pedestrian and protected intersection enhancements, and transit efficiency improvements.
  • One potential improvement to improve transit efficiency is to install floating bus stops. Floating bus stops typically consist of a platform that is separate from bike lanes and allows for buses to stop in traffic lanes. This design allows bus riders to safely access and wait for the bus while also preventing buses from having to enter bike lanes, eliminating potential safety concerns for people bicycling.

Community Engagement

There are multiple opportunities to provide feedback. An online questionnaire and interactive map in spring 2024, open from May 6 to June 2, helped inform conceptual design. During in-person and virtual on-demand open houses in the summer of 2024, staff will share a preliminary design for your feedback before advancing to final design. Check back on this webpage for date and time information or sign up for updates on the city’s Transportation and Mobility Department newsletter.Ongoing Phase 2 Events

What we heard after Phase 1

Once people had a chance to try traveling on the street after the installation of improvements from Phase 1, we opened an online questionnaire, which recorded 180 responses from people who walk, bike, take the bus, and drive along and across Baseline Road. The questionnaire asked to what extent the Phase 1 changes made you feel safer, more comfortable, and better connected.

General feedback we heard:

  • The most appreciated improvements, regardless of how respondents travel, were:
  • pavement resurfacing, green bike lane markings, new crosswalks, the widened bike lane and bike lane buffer, and tall curbs. In general, respondents who bike indicated feeling safer, more comfortable, and better connected.

Most concerns and questions were about

  • Reorganized intersections — the extension of the curb and tightening turns to shorten crosswalk distances for people walking and biking.
  • Narrowed vehicle lanes.
  • Flexible delineator posts, or white flex posts.

We also heard community desires for upcoming Phase 2 improvements:

  • Improving safety by removing conflicts between bikes and buses at bus stops, such as when a bus crosses into the bike lane to stop for passengers.
  • Continuing efforts to discourage people driving from using the bike lane as a vehicle turning or travel lane.
  • Installing additional tall curbs to complete bike lane protection.
  • Installing more and improved crossings.
  • Improving visibility, wayfinding, and access, particularly at intersections.

Phase 1 (2022 – 2023)

A person biking on the Baseline Road bike lane next to tall curbs with mural art

A person biking on the Baseline Road bike lane next to tall curbs with mural art.

Phase 1 is complete. Phase 1 began in August of 2022 and took advantage of pre-scheduled pavement resurfacing as part of our Pavement Management Program (PMP). This phase focused on making strategic improvements from 28th Street to Foothills Parkway with city funds. These improvements were informed by what we heard from the community in fall 2022 and included:

  • Narrowed and restriped travel lanes, a safety design that has been shown in studies to reduce vehicle speeds.
  • Repaved and restriped Mohawk Drive from Baseline Road to Pawnee Drive to better accommodate all travelers to and from Baseline.
  • Reorganized intersections by extending the curb and tightening turn radii to shorten pedestrian and bicycle crossing distances. This expanded the pedestrian area and continues to slow vehicles and improve driver sightlines.
  • Provided physical protection to improve comfort and safety at strategic, prioritized parts of the bike lane.
  • Added “hardening” or physical protection through concrete tall curbs in strategic areas to replace the existing striped buffers or flexible delineator posts. The city’s tall curbs also display art from a local artist, Talia Swartz Parsell, commissioned through the Community Vitality Office of Arts and Culture muralist roster.
  • Installed flexible delineator posts and added striped buffers to separate the bike lane.
  • Added new crosswalks at the Inca Parkway intersection.
  • Added green bike lane markings at intersections.
  • Consolidated bus stops to reduce conflicts between bikes and buses and to improve ADA accessibility and pedestrian access to remaining stops.

Community Engagement Efforts – What We Heard During Phase 1

We heard 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. We also analyzed crash data and more than 400 comments from a questionnaire and on-demand open house.

A gif of a website about the Baseline project

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 are 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.

Interested in learning more about what we heard during Phase 1? Discover how your input is shaping the future of safety, comfort, and connectivity along Baseline on the Baseline Road Transportation Safety Project On-Demand Open House. Your input from Phase 1 will continue to inform Phase 2 improvements.

Timeline graphic. Full caption on project webpage.

Timeline graphic showing project kickoff in mid-2022. Phase 1 was completed in late 2023 and Phase 2 kickoff in early 2024. Project Design will be complete in early 2025 with project completion in late 2026. Community engagement spans from mid-2022 to 2026 with an open house in early 2023, a questionnaire for Phase 1 in 2023, a questionnaire for Phase 2 in early 2024 and an open house in mid-2024. Planning and design for Phase 1 spanned from late 2022 to early 2023 and from early 2024 to early 2025 for Phase 2. Phase 1 improvements including narrowing and restriping travel lanes, pavement resurfacing, and tall curbs, were installed in mid to late 2023. Phase 2 installation such as completing the bike lane and intersection protection provided with roadway repaving in Phase 1, additional pedestrian and protected intersection enhancements, and transit efficiency improvements will occur in 2025 and 2026 pending contractor availability, and weather conditions.

Existing Conditions

Click through the slideshow below or visit the Phase 1 Baseline Road Transportation Safety Project On-Demand Open House from Phase 1 to see photos of previous conditions along Baseline Road.

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 Road at Mohawk Drive

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 Road 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 repave Baseline Road between Foothills Parkway and just west of Gapter Road in May 2024. Mobility enhancements will be coordinated with this scheduled repaving as a cost-effective and efficient way to improve safety for everyone walking, biking, rolling, driving and taking transit. Construction is anticipated for late April to May pending contractor availability and weather. For more information, visit the Pavement Management Program webpage.

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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