Project Overview

The Vision Zero Innovation Program (VZIP) is dedicated to installing innovative, quick-build improvements on city streets in 2020-2021.

VZIP projects are intended to accelerate progress toward creating safer streets to help our community achieve our Vision Zero goal of eliminating fatalities and serious injuries caused by severe traffic crashes. View a map of VZIP projects installed across the city.

Completed Projects

View the map of installed projects or click the tab below to view a list of locations and treatment types.

Have feedback on one of the projects below? Help the city measure the impact of these projects on bicyclist and pedestrian safety and comfort. We invite you to go out on-site to experience the projects firsthand and share your thoughts with staff via the online questionnaire (Spanish version).

  • 9th Street and Cascade Avenue - Marked crosswalk, pedestrian signs, curb extensions
  • 20th Street and Grove Street - Curb extensions with art
  • Aurora Avenue: 35th Street to Mohawk Avenue - Curb extensions, median island, traffic circle
  • Folsom Avenue and Hawthorn Avenue - Marked crosswalks, curb ramps, painted curb extensions and flexible delineator posts
  • Glenwood Drive: 29th to 30th streets - Pinch points, curb extensions
  • Glenwood Drive: Folsom Street to 28th Street - Curb extensions
  • Mohawk Drive: Aurora Avenue to Inca Parkway - Pinch point, curb extensions, median islands, flex post centerline
  • Palo Parkway: 30th Street to Ridgeway Street - Curb extensions, median island
  • Quince Avenue: 15th to 19th streets - Pinch point, curb extensions, chicanes
  • Spine Road near Chapparal Court - Curb extensions, median island
  • University Avenue at 10th Street - Median islands
  • 9th & Cherry --- Traffic Calming (Speed Kidney) and Crossing Treatment
  • 10th & University --- Median Island
  • 20th & Grove --- Curb Extensions with Art
  • 23rd & Canyon --- Curb Extensions and Crossing Treatment (RRFB)
  • 26th & Spruce --- Curb Extensions and Crossing Treatment & Art
  • Aurora & 38th --- Curb Extensions
  • Aurora & 39th --- Curb Extensions
  • Aurora & Gilpin --- Curb Extensions
  • Baseline & Mohawk --- Traffic Calming (Hardened Centerline)
  • Glenwood (29th to 30th) --- Pinch Points and Curb Extensions
  • Glenwood (Folsom to 28th) --- Curb Extensions
  • Grinnell & Viele Channel Path --- Crossing Treatment (Median Island)
  • Grove & 17th --- Curb Extensions with Art and Crossing Treatment
  • Grove & 18th --- Curb Extensions with Art
  • King's Ridge & Wonderland Path --- Crossing Treatment
  • Mohawk (Aurora to Inca) --- Pinch Point, Median Islands, Curb Extensions and Flex Post Centerline
  • Palo (30th to Ridgeway) --- Median Island and Curb Extensions
  • Quince (15th to 19th) --- Chicane, Pinch Points and Curb Extensions
  • Spine & Chaparral --- Median Islands and Curb Extensions

Treatment Types

VZIP uses three main project types, all of which can be made quickly and at lower cost while improving pedestrian and bicyclist safety and comfort:

  • Curb extensions - Shorten the crossing distance for pedestrians/cyclists through the paths of vehicles by physically and/or visually narrowing the roadway (such as with flexible delineators or artistic treatments).
  • Pedestrian and bicyclist crossing treatments - Provide protection for pedestrians/cyclists by ensuring crossing areas are visible to drivers.
  • Traffic calming elements - Reduce vehicle speeds to encourage safer interactions between all road users.

Frequently Asked Questions

The posts were installed through the city’s Vision Zero Innovation Program to help reduce vehicle speeds. These types of installations have been used effectively in cities around the world and are new to Boulder.

Their purpose is to encourage slower vehicle speeds by physically narrowing the street. By design, the installations are intended to cause drivers and other road users to slow down and pay attention to their surroundings, which creates safer street environments for people walking and bicycling. On some streets, the posts also extend the curb and/or create a median island, which provides safer crossings for pedestrians and bicyclists.

The installations have been designed according to National Association of City Transportation Officials (NACTO) standards and follow industry best practices for speed mitigation.

The posts have been installed because they change the street design in ways that can help reduce speeding. Speeding is one of the top causes of severe traffic crashes in Boulder, and reducing speeding requires two approaches: lowering the residential speed limit to 20 mph, which the city did last year, and changing the street design itself.

Both of these approaches are standard practice for Vision Zero cities. Vision Zero is a commitment adopted by Boulder and cities worldwide to eliminate fatalities and serious injuries caused by traffic crashes – zero serious injuries, zero deaths on our streets.

Since the City of Boulder committed to our Vision Zero goal in 2014, we’ve adopted policies and built projects to make our streets safer. But more progress is needed, and so the Vision Zero Innovation Program was identified as a way to install speed mitigation treatments on city streets at lower cost and on a much faster timeline than typical transportation projects. Finding agile and low-cost ways to create safer streets in Boulder is critical to achieving Vision Zero, especially as the COVID-19 pandemic has reduced the city’s budget for transportation projects.

The posts have been installed in locations where the city and/or nearby residents have identified a need for safer street conditions. Some of the locations are those where the city has observed speeding or dangerous driving. Others are locations where nearby residents submitted a petition to the city to receive speed mitigation measures on their streets, through the city’s Neighborhood Speed Management Program. The designs of the installations built this year also took into account community feedback received during the first year of the Vision Zero Innovation Program (2020), including feedback gathered through virtual neighborhood forums.

Travel slowly around the posts, looking out for all road users. Vehicles always travel around the posts. Bicyclists can travel with traffic or through the posts. Pedestrians can stay on the inside of the installations and travel through them to cross the street.

Streets: The designs of the installations were made to allow enough space for snow removal on city streets. Staff will be monitoring the installations throughout the snow season for any adjustments to plowing streets.

Curb Ramps and Extensions: When it snows, city property owners, managers and tenants are required to clear sidewalks adjacent to their property, including a 5’ path on curb ramps and extensions, within 24 hours after snow stops falling.

Because of the Vision Zero Innovation Program, designed to create safer streets in our community, clearing your sidewalk may look a bit different this year if your property is next to a new curb extension, which creates more room for pedestrians and cyclists and helps to slow down turning vehicles. This extension, whether built with concrete or with paint and flexible plastic posts, is considered part of the sidewalk and must be cleared when it snows.

While we tried to minimize impacts to parking, the removal of some spaces was required to allow room for the installations. In some cases, curbside space near intersections that may have previously been used for parking was reallocated to the speed mitigation installations. These were spaces where it was previously technically illegal to park, due to proximity to the intersection. The posts improve safety in these areas by providing more visibility to people turning, where previously parked vehicles reduced sight distances.

These types of posts were installed because they are noticeable to drivers, low-cost and can be installed quickly. Some installations, such as the new crosswalks and curb extensions at 26th and Spruce streets feature art, and the city will also be adding art to the installations on Grove Street this month. In addition, we installed a crosswalk featuring art at 19th Street and Yarmouth Avenue, with two more planned for some 9th Street crossings. Based on feedback, the city is exploring the possibility of having local artists beautify additional installations.

City staff will be collecting traffic volume and speed data at locations where the posts are installed to evaluate their effectiveness at improving safety and may adjust the installations if deemed necessary.

Community feedback is a key part of the Vision Zero Innovation Program - the city collects feedback on how safe and comfortable people feel when using the new installations and have been collecting this feedback since the program launched in 2020. This feedback helps us make adjustments to the program and the types of speed mitigation installed.

We encourage you to submit your feedback on the installations using this form. Using this form ensures city staff will review your feedback and helps staff evaluate the program.

Community feedback is a key part of the Vision Zero Innovation Program - the city collects feedback on how safe and comfortable people feel when using the new installations and have been collecting this feedback since the program launched in 2020. This feedback helps us make adjustments to the program and the types of speed mitigation installed.

We encourage you to share your feedback formally with the city through this feedback form. Using this form ensures city staff will review your feedback and helps staff evaluate the program.

The purpose of VZIP is to provide transportation improvements that slow vehicle speeds and provide enhanced protection for people walking and biking more quickly and for less money than traditional projects that use concrete and asphalt. For that reason, speed humps/cushions are not an option under the VZIP, which focuses primarily on paint and post installations.

No. Prior to the treatments being installed, these streets already had shared street conditions for motorists and cyclists due to cars parked on the sides of the street. The installations improve visibility for people sharing the street, e.g, pedestrians about to cross the street, because it's easier to see people through the posts than through parked cars.

Program Background

The Transportation and Mobility Department dedicated $250,000 of its Vision Zero funding in 2020 to installing innovative, quick-build improvements on city streets in 2020 and 2021 to enhance pedestrian and bicyclist safety and comfort.

The city's 2019 Low-Stress Walk and Bike Network Plan, which identifies high-risk locations for walking and bicycling in Boulder, is used to help identify locations for VZIP projects. Community feedback, data evaluation and the 2019 Safe Streets Report also inform locations.

Before and after installation, the city collects data and community feedback on the projects to evaluate their effectiveness.

*Primary image photo credit: Mural: GNEURAL / Photo: Ryan Policky / Latenight Weeknight