Heads Up September 23, 2022

Here’s some need-to-know information for the week:

Boulder Valley Employee Survey Implementation

The city’s Transportation and Mobility Department, working with the National Research Center, is preparing to implement the 2022 Boulder Valley Employee Survey from late September through October this year.

Data collected in the survey is critical for tracking progress toward the city’s transportation and climate goals and the development of policies, practices, and programs for the department’s Transportation Master Plan. The goal is to have at least 1500 employees complete the survey to understand how employees who work in Boulder travel to and from work and during the day, and how demographics and access to transportation options and employer-provided programs impact travel behavior.

The survey takes approximately 10 minutes and employees of selected employers are asked to respond to the survey online or on paper. The survey uses a sampling methodology that selects employers to participate based on the business type, size, and location to get a representative sample of the wide range of Boulder businesses. The city has regularly conducted the survey since 1990 and while most questions remain consistent over time, a small portion are modified to understand current trends, such as the impact of COVID-19 pandemic on telework and employee commuting patterns.

Staff will be working with the Communications and Engagement team and other strategic partners, like the Boulder Chamber, to raise awareness of the survey and its importance and to encourage selected employers to have their employees take the survey. Survey findings will be published in the Boulder Valley Employee Survey report, scheduled to be completed in the first quarter of 2023. The previous survey instrument can be found at the end of the last report.

For more information, please contact Chris Hagelin, principal transportation planner with Transportation and Mobility at hagelinc@bouldercolorado.gov or Allison Moore-Farrell, senior transportation planner, at moorefarrella@bouldercolorado.gov.

Curbside Management Pilot Project Implementation

The city’s Transportation and Mobility Department, in collaboration with Community Vitality, Planning and Development Services, and Fehr and Peers transportation consultants, are preparing to implement a series of curbside management pilot projects in downtown Boulder and University Hill from late September to December 2022.

In 2021, the city received a grant from the Denver Regional Council of Governments (DRCOG) to develop curbside management policies and practices. Over the last several years, and stemming from COVID responses, there are a variety of new, competing demands for access to the curb. With the increase in package pick-up and delivery from online transactions, food delivery services, and Transportation Network Companies (TNCs) like Uber and Lyft, the ways in which commerce is done are changing and have contributed to an increased demand for short-term curbside access.

To address these changes, the project team will be implementing two pilot curbside management strategies, based on applying best practices and input from the Downtown Management Commission, University Hill Commercial Area Management Commissions, the Access Allies community working group, and transportation and delivery service providers.

The first strategy will focus on implementing designated pick-up and drop-off locations for TNCs. The city will work directly with Lyft and Uber to geofence specific locations where drivers will need to pick up and drop off passengers when within the downtown or University Hill boundaries. When requesting pick-up in these areas, TNC patrons will be directed through the app to walk to those designated locations to meet their driver. This will directly address increased TNC use and the resulting greater demand for short-term curbside access, reducing the travel delays and unsafe loading and unloading of passengers in travel lanes when curbside access is unavailable.

The second pilot strategy is focused on the conversion of some existing loading zones from time-restricted zones to Flexible Loading Zones that will be open to a variety of users and demands 24 hours a day. Instead of loading zones being restricted to specific time periods, such as 7 a.m. to 10 a.m., these zones will be available for loading all day. For example, food delivery services could continue to use them in the morning as they historically have, package delivery vehicles can use them during the day, and TNCs could use them in the evening as designated pick-up and drop-off locations. The city will work with both delivery service providers and building owners/tenants bordering the pilot project locations to inform them of the changes.

The pilot areas will be marked with signs. These efforts will be implemented on Sept. 29 and are anticipated to last into December. To minimize the impact on parking supply, the pilot locations will primarily use existing loading zones. Staff will monitor and evaluate the pilot project to inform the development of curbside management policies and an implementation guidebook that will outline city practices and standard operating procedures for managing the curb along the public right of way. In 2023, staff will bring recommendations to boards and council on changes to curbside management policies and practices for their consideration. Additional information on the pilots and their specific locations is available on the Access Management and Parking Strategy (AMPS) website.

For more information, please contact Chris Hagelin, principal transportation planner with Transportation and Mobility at hagelinc@bouldercolorado.gov or Allison Moore-Farrell, senior transportation planner, at moorefarrella@bouldercolorado.gov.


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