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Bicycle Planning

Bicycling is often portrayed as a symbol of the healthy and active community and lifestyle found in Boulder. Boulder already has high bicycle use compared to most U.S. communities, but with growing public health concerns about obesity and air quality, increased bicycling remains one of the most effective ways to travel while achieving personal health and air quality benefits. With an average trip length of about four miles, many of the trips made by Boulder residents could be accomplished by bike.

The bicycle element is based on developing a continuous bicycle network of cross-town corridors allowing for safe and convenient bicycle travel throughout the community. While these corridors may be composed of a variety of facility types, continuous corridors avoid the missing links that disrupt bicycle travel and put bicyclists in unexpected, difficult, and potentially dangerous situations. The bicycle element also recognizes that bicycle users range from the experienced commuter who is comfortable in traffic to children who cannot safely use a busy street. Consequently, a system of off-street multi-use paths is included as an option to the street system.

The long range bicycle network for the City of Boulder is comprehensive and will provide both on- and off-street connections throughout the city. With the completion of the bicycle element, an additional 92 miles of bicycle lanes, routes, and shoulders will be added. In addition, enhanced crossings, overpasses and underpasses will be added to the bicycle network. These facilities will provide safe connections and the opportunity for bike travel throughout the city for all levels of riders.

Bicycle Policies

  • The city will complete a grid-based system of primary and secondary bicycle corridors to provide bicycle access to all major destinations and all parts of the community.
  • The city will coordinate with Boulder County, CU, the Boulder Urban Renewal Authority (BURA), neighborhood plans, the City Parks and Recreation Department, the Open Space and Mountain Parks Department and other government entities, and plans to ensure that all city and county projects connect with and/or help to complete the corridor network.
  • The city will work with property owners, developers, the BURA, the Boulder Valley School District (BVSD), the City Parks and Recreation Department, and CU to ensure that commercial, public, and mixed-use and multi-unit residential sites provide direct, safe and convenient internal bicycle circulation oriented along the line of sight from external connections to areas near building entrances and other on-site destinations.
  • The city will combine education and enforcement efforts to help instill safe and courteous use of the shared public roadway, with a focus on better educating students on how to properly share the road with bicyclists, pedestrians and users of transit.