What Does the TMP Say about Regional Travel?
Population growth in surrounding communities, as well as new employment, education, and entertainment opportunities in Boulder, are increasing regional travel to and through Boulder. We must provide a range of regional travel options to address congestion and mobility needs, and meet our Sustainability Framework and Climate Commitment goals.
Among the policy focus areas of the 2014 Transportation Master Plan (TMP) is achieving greater modal choice on key regional connections. The Regional Travel Action Plan strategies include supporting and participating in regional coalitions and collaborative efforts to plan and fund regional travel options, which will require elected official and staff involvement to implement. The Regional Transportation Update provides information on current transportation items.
Updates on Commuter Corridors
In the first year of operation, following completion of the US 36 Express Lanes Project, the highway connecting Boulder and Denver has seen:
- A 29% increase in lane speeds across all lanes on average.
- A 29% increase in regional bus service ridership since RTD's Flatiron Flyer began.
- Over 151,316 cyclists have traveled along the US 36 Bikeway.
All statistics provided by Commuting Solutions
State Highway 7
The city is working with local and regional partners to advance regional mobility improvements along the length of SH 7 between downtown Boulder and I-25, and, ultimately, to Brighton.
State Highway 119
The City of Boulder, along with RTD, CDOT, and neighboring communities, are advancing multimodal transportation to optimize regional connectivity and mobility between Downtown Boulder and Downtown Longmont.
Status and Potential Next Steps
The City is actively engaged in regional partnerships and planning efforts.
- Boulder County - The city coordinates with the Boulder County Transportation Department on all plans and policies that affect regional travel.
- Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) - CDOT is the primary transportation agency for the State of Colorado. Several state and federal highways run through the City of Boulder, and CDOT is a partner on all planning and operations along these corridors.
- Denver Regional Council of Governments (DRCOG) – DRCOG represents the various government agencies that make up the Denver Metropolitan Region. Its tasks include many different issues, including Board, MetroVision Issues Committee (MVIC), Sustainable Communities Initiative (SCI) Northwest Corridor Working Group, fiscally constrained Regional Transportation Plan (RTP).
- University of Colorado, Boulder - CU is Colorado's flagship research university, with enrollment of over 33,000 students. The university is also Boulder's largest employer, and a key partner of the City of Boulder.
- Regional Transportation District (RTD) - The Regional Transportation District offers transit service throughout the Denver Metro region, including many of Boulder's bus routes.
- Via - Via is a full-spectrum mobility manager offering paratransit, travel training and mobility options information and referral services. Via also operates Boulder's HOP bus route.
- Transfort FLEX - Transfort is the name of the regional transit service provided by the City of Fort Collins. The FLEX is a commuter service, operated by Transfort, that provides a one seat express ride from Fort Collins to Boulder.
- US 36 Mayors and Commissioners Coalition – US 36 is the primary highway between Boulder and Denver, connecting to many communities in between. The Mayors and Commissioners coalition establishes a shared vision and advocacy for transportation solutions and funding along the US 36 corridor.
- State Highway 7 Coalition - State Highway 7 is an east-west highway that connects Boulder to communities to the east. The SH7 coalition provides a forum to coordinate and advocate for the planning and implementation of multimodal transportation improvements and transit supportive development in the SH 7 corridor between Brighton and Boulder.
- Commuting Solutions – Commuting Solutions is a partnership of private and public organizations supporting advocacy for funding and providing transportation demand management services to employers and employees along the US 36 corridor and beyond.
- Commuting Solutions: Transportation Matters - Transportation Matters is a bold initiative to spark critical conversations surrounding the transportation funding shortfalls in the northwest metro region.
- State Highway 7 Study - Recent studies by the State (CDOT – view study) and RTD (see entry for the Northwest Area Mobility Study below) have identified necessary traffic/travel improvements along the State Highway 7 (SH 7) corridor between the City of Boulder and the City of Brighton. They have also shown that current projected traffic volumes and expansion plans by communities along the corridor suggest that SH 7 may be a strong candidate for the implementation of Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) service.
- State Highway 119 Study - The City of Boulder, along with RTD, CDOT, and neighboring communities, are advancing multimodal transportation to optimize regional connectivity and mobility between Downtown Boulder and Downtown Longmont. Planned regional Bus Rapid Transit (BRT), express/managed lanes, and a commuter bikeway will result in improved multimodal access and faster and more reliable travel times to address growing congestion, improve safety, and support economic vitality throughout the
- Northwest Area Mobility Study Implementation (ongoing) – In June 2014, RTD completed a study evaluating transit-based options for enhancing mobility throughout the Northwest corridor, including Northwest Rail and Bus Rapid Transit services. Based on the study results, regional partners will focus on transit priorities such as pursuing near-term regional arterial Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) along six corridors, including the Diagonal Highway (SH 119 from Longmont to Boulder) and Arapahoe Road (SH 7 from Boulder to Lafayette); bi-directional transit/managed lanes along north I-25; and monitoring for changes relative to the post-2040 timeline for Northwest Area Rail.
- Monitor Potential Statewide and Regional Funding Initiatives – Monitor regional and statewide discussions that may craft multimodal package(s) for voter consideration on future ballots;
- RTD Pass Program Working Group – In February of 2018, a 25-member group of RTD staff and external stakeholders representing schools, businesses, municipalities, neighborhood groups and advocacy organizations reviewed each of the agency’s individual and group passes and formulated several options. The group recommended adding a low-income pass, adding a youth pass, and retaining the EcoPass, Neighborhood EcoPass, and CollegePass. Pass Program Study News Release
Contact Randall Rutsch at 303-441-4270.
Director of Public Works for Transportation