1. Plan

    2023

  2. Community Engagement

    2023-2024

  3. Design

    2024

  4. Build

Project Overview

The Iris Avenue Transportation Improvements Project will identify and implement ways to make Iris Avenue between Broadway and 28th Street safer, more connected and more comfortable.

A map of the core project area, Iris Avenue between Broadway and 28th Street. There are key locations on the map including multi-use path, on-street bike route, underpass, sidewalk connections, enhanced crosswalks, traffic signals otherwise known as stoplights, bus stops and routes, and a future Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) station on 28th Street near Safeway.

The project will develop alternatives focused on:

  • increasing mobility choices

  • improving safety for everyone

  • making walking, bicycling and taking transit more attractive and convenient

  • improving connections to local and citywide destinations

A tagline that says A connected Iris for a vibrant community

Why Iris Avenue?

Iris Avenue is the second of three priority corridors in the city’s Core Arterial Network (CAN) initiative.

The CAN is a connected system of protected bicycle lanes, intersection enhancements, pedestrian facilities and transit facility upgrades. This connected system 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.

Provide Your Input

In-person

The city has developed conceptual design alternatives based on your input, data analysis, and city goals. We will share these alternatives for your review and feedback at an in-person open house:

  • Saturday, April 27.
  • 10 a.m. to 12 p.m.
  • Columbine Elementary School, 3130 Repplier St, Boulder, CO 80304.

If you cannot make the open house or would like to continue conversations with staff, you can attend one of our smaller activities in the neighborhood:

  • North Boulder Recreation Center: Tuesday, April 30, 4-6 p.m.
  • Columbine Park: Wednesday, May 8, 2:30-4 p.m.
  • Parkside Park: Thursday, May 16, 3:30-5:30 p.m.

Virtual

A virtual open house will also be available to view online at your convenience from April 27 to May 27. Share your thoughts on conceptual design options, or alternatives, that will improve transportation in this area. Your feedback will help us continue into the next stage of the design process and ultimately identify a recommended alternative, to bring forward to the boards and City Council. We look forward to speaking with you!

We will provide updates as they become available about additional engagement opportunities later this year.

2023 Community Engagement

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a collage of images of people participating in community engagement for the project

Thank you to everyone who walked, talked, or otherwise participated in one of the 24 engagement activities the Iris Avenue Transportation Improvements project team hosted in 2023! Over 1,300 people shared valuable time and knowledge with us. Find a summary of what we've heard so far below or view the full report.

Engagement Summary

Summary of themes from 2023 community engagement

  • East-west travel is important, and people driving appreciate Iris Avenue as a convenient and reliable route across the city.

  • People walking, rolling, biking and taking transit also want Iris Avenue to provide convenient and safe routes.

  • Sidewalks could be improved to provide comfort, safety, and attractive walking conditions. Sidewalks are currently: not wide enough, winding, sloping, bumpy, and often blocked by overgrown vegetation.

  • Crossing Iris Avenue safely and conveniently is a priority for people of all ages and abilities traveling to school, work, for errands, and for recreation – but today some see it as a barrier to getting where they want to go.

  • Vehicles travel at high speeds, creating unsafe conditions and excessive street noise.

  • Safer neighborhood and business access is essential.

  • Drivers feel unsafe turning onto and off Iris Avenue and feel they’re more likely to crash with oncoming traffic when doing so.

  • Delivery, transit, waste management and other vehicles stop in-lane, blocking the bike and right-side travel lanes.

  • Residents are concerned changes will impact emergency evacuation and response.

  • Neighbors want to maintain the character of their neighborhoods, which they see as providing safer, more comfortable alternatives for walking, rolling, and biking than arterial streets like Iris Avenue are concerned that changes to Iris Avenue could create traffic diversion onto nearby streets.

  • Community members want attractive facilities and opportunities for placemaking.

  • Beter wayfinding and help navigating to local and regional destinations are desired.

  • Roadway pavement conditions could be improved.

  • Transit service is infrequent, and many transit stops are not accessible and lack shelters, benches, and trash cans.

We heard from:

  • Residents, employers and employees at pop-ups, through online questionnaires, and at an open house.
  • Children, youth and families shared their experiences traveling along and across Iris Avenue when we met them at their schools and when they walked Iris Avenue with our partners at Growing Up Boulder.
  • Advocacy organizations like Boulder Walks, Community Cycles, and the Center for People with Disabilities gave voice to the experience of walking, biking, rolling and strolling the corridor today.

Past community engagement events in 2023

People writing down feedback and pointing to a map of Iris Avenue.

Community engagement also included a questionnaire and interactive map during summer 2023.

Decorative graphic

Engagement Report

All the details of community engagement in 2023, including open house materials, are available in the engagement report.

Fast facts

We’ve also heard some concerns: Has the city already decided on a design? What changes to Iris Avenue are being considered? How will my travel be affected? What about my neighborhood?

Improving Iris Avenue is important and requires time and careful consideration of our city’s transportation goals, community input, analysis of collected data, and Vision Zero best practices. This work began in early 2024 and will continue as the design progresses. See the Timeline for details on the process.

We invite you to continue joining the conversation through future engagement opportunities.

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Study area map; details provided in caption

A map of the primary and secondary study area. The primary study area extends on Iris Avenue from Broadway to 28th Street. The secondary study area extends north and south of Iris Avenue from Norwood Avenue to Balsam Avenue/Edgewood Drive.


Timeline

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Timeline graphic. Full description on Iris Avenue Transportation Improvements Project webpage.

Image description: From 2023-2024, the project team will focus on listening to the community and collecting transportation data. Following the analysis of this data and community input, alternatives development will begin in 2024. After this, the project will follow a Community Environmental Assessment Process (CEAP) to ensure the recommended alternative for Iris Avenue is consistent with overarching community goals in the Boulder Valley Comprehensive Plan. City Council will review recommendations. If approved, the next steps will include final design and implementation.

Other Iris Avenue projects 

The projects below are happening at or near Iris Avenue, but are not part of the Iris Avenue Transportation Improvements Project.

Crosswalk improvements

In early 2024, we plan to construct pedestrian and bicycle enhancements to Iris Avenue at the 15th Street crossing. We received funding from the Denver Regional Council of Governments (DRCOG) Community Mobility Planning and Implementation (CMPI) 2019 grant program to improve three crosswalk locations, including at this crossing.

While these crossing improvements support our CAN goals, they are not part of the Iris Avenue Transportation Improvements Project. Learn more about the city’s Pedestrian Crossings.

Sanitary Sewer Rehabilitation

Sewer maintenance work is planned for spring 2024 on Iris Avenue from Broadway to 28th Street, and in the neighborhoods to the south. There may be traffic and parking impacts. Learn more on the Sanitary Sewer Rehabilitation Program webpage.

Stay connected

Stay tuned for Iris Avenue project updates on the project email, the Transportation and Mobility Department newsletter or the project webpage.