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Complete Streets

Complete Streets

Transit Planning

Where we are today

  • Boulder has a national reputation for having a great transit system!
  • Our community has worked hard to build a successful Community Transit Network.
  • Boulderites far exceed the national average for transit use.

Ridership on Boulder’s local transit routes has grown 300 percent since 1990.

Despite this success:

  • Ridership during the last several years is declining;
  • Costs are going up; and
  • Under current trends, operating costs for transit will increase and local bus service hours will decline.

Complete Streets Transit Action Plan pdf - May 29, 2014 open house
2014 Draft Transit Modal Plan pdf

What we want to achieve with TMP Update

  • Work with the community, Transportation Advisory Committee (TAC) , and policymakers to develop a Renewed Vision for Transit that is consistent with communitywide sustainability goals.
  • Develop a vision that is grounded in an extensive outcome-based analysis with robust community input and reflects community values for transit system development in Boulder.
  • Engage the community and key stakeholders through Storefront Workshops,,, and public meetings to understand what the community needs and desires from a transit system.
  • Work closely with the TAC to develop potential transit scenarios and performance measures that align with city and regional sustainability goals.
  • Employ an evaluation process that recognizes the value of a “complete system” approach to transit development in Boulder and its surrounding communities.  

A key step in creating a Renewed Vision for Transit is developing scenarios to allow the community to compare the costs and benefits of various approaches to developing a complete transit system in Boulder. Scenarios used in the planning process will illustrate clear and distinct approaches to transit system design that can be evaluated relative to performance measures and community values. The scenarios will illuminate possible futures, and are not "the" future plan.

The Renewed Vision for Transit will highlight the community’s preferred scenario and will guide long-term service and capital plans, near-terms service improvements, and monitoring programs.

The State of the System Report documents the existing conditions of the local and regional transit system and provides statistics and trends associated with the performance of the system. The report will help lay the groundwork to develop the renewed vision under the city's early action items and long-term transit strategies.

Bike & Pedestrian Innovations

Where we are today

The city is committed to increasing walking and biking while reducing car usage.
As our community has grown, so has use of the city’s extensive bicycle and pedestrian network.

Boulder bikes at 20 times the national average, and walk three times more than the national average.

Thousands of people use Boulder’s sidewalks, multi-use paths, streets, and trails everyday to exercise, shop or travel to school or work. The League of American Bicyclists recognizes Boulder, with its robust bicycle network, as a leading “Platinum” level bicycling community.

Today, Boulder has 159 center-line miles of bike facilities; in comparison the city has 305 centerline miles of roads.

The core network of Boulder’s biking and walking paths is virtually complete. Yet, there is still tremendous potential to increase trips made by foot or bike, especially in comparison to international cities such as Münster, Germany or Gronningen, Netherlands where people bike for 40 percent and walk for 55 percent of all trips, respectively.

Living Laboratory

As part of the TMP, the city is launching a ‘living laboratory’ to test new bike facilities and see if they are right for Boulder. Treatments are scheduled to be installed throughout August and September 2013. For details on the location, scope and schedule of each living lab demo project, please see the specific innovations below.

A big goal of the TMP is to get people out of their cars to bus, bike and walk because it’s easy, convenient and safe. With Boulder’s amazing bike path system, biking is an obvious travel option to increase. We want to better understand common barriers to biking so we can help make it easier to bike instead of drive.

It is estimated that almost 60 percent of Boulderites are Interested but Concerned riders - people who like biking, but aren’t necessarily comfortable sharing the road with cars. The Living Laboratory is an opportunity to better understand what  would give riders more confidence and to be comfortable with riding to complete trips around town.

Evaluation of the living laboratory bike demonstration projects will include community feedback, field observations to record cyclist/motorist behaviors and a before/after comparison of traffic volume, vehicle speeds, and collision data.

Bike Demo Projects

We are encouraging everyone to ride the new bike facilities and share your experience on Due to the September 2013 flooding, the installation of several Living Laboratory Projects has been postponed until summer 2014.

Buffered Bike Lanes University Avenue (9th Street - Broadway)

Phase I: Installed in August 2013
Buffered bike lanes provide a designated ‘buffer’ separating the bike lane from the adjacent auto travel lane and/or parking lane. We are maintaining the existing on-street bike lanes from 9 th to 7 th streets to compare the effectiveness of each on-street bike lane treatment.

Buffered Bike Lane on University

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Buffered Bike Lanes

Back-in Angled Parking University Avenue (Broadway - 17th Street)

Installation Scheduled for August 2013
The Living Laboratory proposes to change angled parking to back-in angled parking, in an effort to reduce the potential for conflict and documented collisions between cyclists and vehicles backing out blindly into the bike lane.

Back-in Angled Parking

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Back-in Angled Parking

Protected Cycle Track Baseline (30th - 35th streets)

Installed in August 2013
A cycle track is an on-street bicycle lane that is physically separated from pedestrian and vehicle traffic. These lanes allow for a more comfortable and protected ride adjacent to traffic.

Protected Cycle Track

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Protected Cycle Track

Spruce Street Buffered Bike Lanes

The City of Boulder is testing two types of buffered bike lanes along Spruce Street.

  1. The first variation buffers the bike lane from the adjacent parking lane and travel lane.
  2. The second variation provides a wider bike lane and buffers from the adjacent travel lane.

The city wants to know how effective each buffered bike lane is in raising awareness and improving safety between cyclists and drivers in travel lanes and/or parked cars.

Spruce Street Buffered Bike Lanes

Spruce Street Buffered Bike LanesSpruce Street Buffered Bike LanesSpruce Street Buffered Bike LanesSpruce Street Buffered Bike LanesSpruce Street Buffered Bike LanesSpruce Street Buffered Bike LanesSpruce Street Buffered Bike LanesSpruce Street Buffered Bike LanesSpruce Street Buffered Bike LanesSpruce Street Buffered Bike Lanes

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Buffered Bike Lanes

Bike Boulevard 13th Street (Balsam Street to north of Cedar Avenue)

Installed in Fall 2013
Bike Boulevards are generally designated along residential streets with low volumes of auto traffic and low speeds where bicyclists are given priority. By branding these streets as the best and lowest stress routes we can provide a safer and more relaxing place to ride while encouraging mode share. We will be testing the effectiveness of establishing and promoting a bike boulevard along with traffic control changes to better accommodate bicyclists, while not increasing vehicle traffic in the area.

Stop signs on 13 th Street at the intersection of Cedar Avenue will be removed to better accommodate bicycle travel along 13 th Street. The stops signs on Cedar Avenue at 13 th Street will remain.

Bike Boulevard 13 th Street

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Electric Bike Pilot Project

Feb. 7, 2014 through Dec. 31, 2014
The city will temporarily allow the use of electric-assisted bicycles (e-bikes) on paved multi-use paths, not including paths on Open Space and Mountain Park lands. The objective of the pilot project is to determine whether e-bike users can coexist with other users on Boulder's multi-use paths.

Learn more about the Electric-Assisted Bicycles (E-Bikes) Policy Review.

Electric-assist Bikes

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Bike Parking Regulations

A three-part strategy to improve bike parking is in the works:

  • Bike Corral Expansion,
  • Bike Parking Subsidy for existing development, and
  • Bike Parking Regulations Update for new development.

The objective is to better accommodate future bike parking demand by introducing a more diverse set of tools to provide bike parking.

Bike Parking

Bike Parking

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Advisory Bike Lane at Harvard Lane (south of Bates Street)

Scheduled for Summer 2014
Used on low volume streets that are too narrow for traditional bike lanes, this variation of an on-street bike lane is marked with a solid white line on the right (next to the parked cars) and a dotted line on the left. This treatment prioritizes space for cyclists while still allowing drivers to encroach into the bike lane if needed to pass an oncoming vehicle.

Advisory Bike Lane

Advisory Bike Lane

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Bike Box Intersection of Folsom and Canyon (northwest corner, in the southbound direction)

Scheduled for Summer 2014
A Bike Box is a designated, marked area at a signalized intersection that places bicycles at the front of the queue. Bike boxes increase the visibility of bicyclists and allow them to enter/clear the intersection before motor vehicles.

Bike Box

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Protected Cycle Track University Avenue (9th Street - Broadway)

Phase II: Scheduled for Fall 2014
A cycle track is an on-street bicycle lane that is physically separated (often by a parking lane) from pedestrian and vehicle traffic. These lanes allow for a more comfortable and protected ride adjacent to traffic.

The proposed demonstration project will result in the loss of one to two on-street parking spaces at intersections and driveways to provide sight distance between drivers on the road and cyclists in the bike lane. Part of this experiment will be testing whether drivers can successfully and efficiently park in a marked area away from the curb.

Protected Cycle Tracks

Protected Cycle TrackProtected Cycle Track

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Innovations for Future Consideration

Glow Paint for Multi-use Paths
Use photoluminescence paint that charges during the day and glows for up to 10 hours at night on multi-use paths to denote lanes and traffic markers at locations with limited site distance or other engineering constraints. Slip resistance of materials must be confirmed before demo is installed.

Slow Zones
Established in small, self-contained areas that consist primarily of local residential streets, Neighborhood Slow Zones reduce the speed limit to 20 mph and add mitigation measures to change driver behavior. Additional public process is necessary to revisit the City’s traffic mitigation program policies and procedures. This could be prioritized in 2014 or beyond.

Re-visioning 30th Street
A comprehensive study is required and a proposed priority of the CU East Campus Connection project (see Integration with TMP Focus Areas). Reconfiguring the roadway segment from Baseline to Arapahoe roads by converting the four-lane roadway into a three-lane roadway. This treatment would allow new space to be dedicated to bike, pedestrian and transit improvements as well as context sensitive and urban design enhancements.

What we want to achieve with the TMP Update

For Bike & Pedestrian innovations, 2013 is all about learning from walking and bicycling customers. We will launch interactive living laboratories to:

  • Engage neighborhoods, conduct walk audits and learn what makes a good pedestrian environment;
  • Demo new bike facilities and programs to see if they are right for Boulder (see above Bike demo projects above); and
  • Develop a Bike & Walk Action Plan and prioritize policies, projects and programs to implement over the next three to five years.

During this the update process, we want to deepen our understanding of:

  • what the barriers are to biking and walking in Boulder;
  • what programs and facility improvements will help to break down those barriers for "interested but concerned” cyclists; and
  • what a pedestrian scaled environment looks like.

CU East Campus

The CU East Campus Connections Project is a joint University of Colorado and City of Boulder project.

The primary objective is to work in partnership with CU, to identify mutually agreed upon projects to “move the bar forward” on important sustainable transportation connections that will be needed in the east campus area.

Two open houses were held (March 4 and 13) to collect community input on the CU East Campus project. These public meeting were held to provide information and collect public input on the potential transportation connections in the area.

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