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Living Lab Overview


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Home  |  Living Lab Overview  |  Phase I Pilot Projects  |  Phase II Folsom Street Pilot Project  |  User Guide and Videos 

Living Lab Overview

Boulder created the Living Lab Pilot Program in order to test street designs that will help achieve goals established by the 2014 Transportation Master Plan (TMP). One of the priorities in the plan is to develop Complete Streets that offer safe travel for drivers, bicyclists, transit users and pedestrians and that could include features such as protected bicycle lanes.

Phase I Pilot Projects

Phase I pilot projects are installed at the following locations to test bicycle innovations. The city continues to collect data and user feedback to evaluate the design and will make reports to the City Council and Transportation Advisory Board.

  • Harvard Lane Dashed Bike Lanes
  • University Avenue Parking-Protected Bike Lanes
  • University Avenue Back-In Angled Parking
  • Baseline Road Protected Cycle Track
  • Spruce Street Buffered Bike Lanes
  • 13th Street Bike Boulevard
  • Folsom and Canyon Bike Box

Phase II Folsom Street Pilot Project

The Folsom Street pilot project is one of many action items from the TMP, which is guided by the Boulder community’s vision to create a more complete transportation system that provides a variety of travel options for everyone, is well connected with regional transit options and is environmentally sustainable. Click here pdf to view the plan.

Resources and Background Articles

Why is Boulder Testing New Street Designs?

Boulder residents are more 17 times more likely to ride a bike to work than in other U.S. cities. In Boulder, men are currently twice as likely as women to commute by bike; and half of all trips completed by women are made in single-occupant vehicles or to transport children, compared to one-third of trips by men. A primary goal of the city’s Transportation Master Plan (TMP) is to "Complete Streets" by increasing bike trips by older adults, women, and families with children.

Many Boulder community members are “interested but concerned” riders who like riding a bike but don’t feel comfortable or confident sharing the roadway with motor vehicles. With an average trip length of about four miles, many of the trips made by Boulder residents could be accomplished by bike or bus. However, may of Boulder's arterial roadways currently lack the pedestrian, bicycle, and transit amenities to encourage walking.

The TMP vision is to a create and maintain a safe and efficient transportation system that meets the community's sustainability goals and provides a variety of travel options. The TMP sets ambitious, yet realistic, goals for all trips taken within Boulder:

  • 30 percent bike,
  • 25 percent walk, and
  • 10 percent transit

Additional TMP objectives include reducing single-occupant vehicle travel to 20 percent of all trips for residents and to 60 percent of work trips for non-residents, while reducing vehicle miles traveled for both residents and non-residents.

The TMP objectives include safety improvements for people using all transportation options while working “Toward Vision Zero” for fatal and serious injury crashes.

Complete Streets Information


Safer Streets, Stronger Economies, Smart Growth America
What do communities get for their investments in Complete Streets? In this study of 37 projects, Smart Growth America found that Complete Streets projects tended to improve safety for everyone, increased biking and walking, and showed a mix of increases and decreases in automobile traffic, depending in part on the project goal.

Benefits of Complete Streets: Climate Change, National Complete Streets Partnership
In 1993, Portland, Oregon became the first U.S. city to adopt a plan to address global warming, intended to reduce emissions to 10 percent below 1990 levels by 2010. New transit investments and continued improvements to bicycling and walking infrastructure have thus far resulted in per capita CO2 emissions reductions of 12.5 percent. Ultimately, Portland’s Complete Streets and associated land use policies yield carbon savings worth between $28 and $70 million annually.

Benefits of Complete Streets: Livable Communities, Smart Growth America
The streets of our cities and towns are an important part of the livability of our communities. They ought to be for everyone, whether young or old, motorist or bicyclist, walker or wheelchair user, bus rider or shopkeeper. But too many streets are designed only for speeding cars, or worse, creeping traffic jams. They are unsafe for people on foot or bike – and unpleasant for everybody.

Road Diets – a livability fact sheet, American Association of Retired Persons (AARP)
Supersized, multilane roadways are fast-moving, unattractive and often impossible to cross. Learn how the streets near you can slim down, spruce up and become safer for all users. Research suggests that injuries from vehicle crashes rise as the width of a road increases.

Moving Beyond the Automobile, StreetFilms
A ten-part video series which explores solutions to the problem of automobile dependency. It's a visual handbook that will help guide policy makers, advocacy organizations, teachers, students, and others into a world that values pedestrian plazas over parking lots and train tracks over highways. Cars were then, and this is now. Welcome to the future.

Protected Bike Lanes 101, People for Bikes
Resources that will help get anyone interested in protected bike lanes up to speed.

Evaluation of Lane Reduction "Road Diet" Measures on Crashes, U.S. Department of Transportation Federal Highway Administration

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