Boulder for All

A new Vision for Transportation in our Community

Boulder needs to rebalance our mix of transportation modes to provide complete streets that serve walking, bicycling, and transit as well as automobiles and trucks. 

This will:

  • Increase safety for everyone
  • Reduce our greenhouse gas emissions
  • Increase freedom for children and other vulnerable populations
  • Increase our choices for getting where we want to go
  • Reduce the cost of transportation

Problems and Solutions

The automobile dominant model for transportation in Boulder, and America as a whole, has led to large numbers of fatalities and serious injuries. It does not have to be this way. 

Our primary reliance on automobiles is also causing climate change. Cars and trucks are America’s number one source of greenhouse gas emissions. Boulder has set an ambitious goal to achieve net-zero carbon emissions, but our city’s rating of its progress toward that goal is “off-track”. 

Cars and trucks harm our health and well-being, and they are expensive. The only solution to car traffic is viable alternatives to driving for many or most trips.

The only solution to car traffic is viable alternatives to driving, including frequent and reliable public transit, good facilities for bicycling, and consistently safe and pleasant sidewalks for walking.

Problems and Solutions

We need a Network

A complete cycling network is more than the sum of its parts because no individual bike lane is particularly valuable unless the entire journey is safe. Boulder has not yet reached the “tipping point” where a safe, complete network allows people to feel safe on all bicycling journeys.

More on Boulder’s Bike Network

Designing for All Ages & Abilities

To make our city safe for travel by walking, bicycling, and other micro-mobility transportation, our streets must be and feel safe for everyone, including those with physical disabilities, age 8 to 80 or beyond. Safety should not depend on the unrealistic assumption that drivers, cyclists, and pedestrians will always behave perfectly. With our current street designs, a simple mistake can quickly lead to tragic consequences.

To achieve safety, we need changes to the design and construction of our streets. This section notes some street engineering solutions that work.

improved engineering

Common Fallacies & Stumbling Blocks

When advocates for multi-modal transportation describe a future that is less dependent on the automobile, we are sometimes met with skepticism (or outright hostility) that may have its origins in some common fallacies. These fallacies can generate considerable angst when change to our transportation infrastructure is proposed. We aim to describe these fallacies and set the record straight so that dialog surrounding proposed change can focus less on fallacies and more on the real tradeoffs that change may involve.

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Making the Most of Community Engagement

There is no doubt that arguments surrounding changes to transportation infrastructure can get heated. Sometimes the fire is fueled by prejudices (against government, for example) or hostility toward particular elected leaders. Worse, the debate often happens on social media like Facebook or Next Door, where the algorithms reward negativity and civility is usually optional. For many, it’s a scene so unpleasant that they just choose not to engage. But, truly, city planners need us to engage. So this is a short guide on how to engage respectfully and most effectively.

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Getting it Right on Iris

The City of Boulder’s Transportation and Mobility department released on April 27 a plan with four alternatives for a redesign of Iris Avenue. The new planning documents are available in the form of a “storymap”. See the city’s web page. All four alternatives include protected bike lanes, which is what the city council decided in 2022. Inclusion of protected bike lanes is also is also official policy in the city's transportation planning documents.

Iris Avenue is part of the city’s Core Arterial Network program, which emphasizes the fact that the big streets create about two-thirds of the fatalities and serious injuries caused by automobiles. The city makes an excellent value statement: “We believe no one should be killed or severely injured in traffic crashes on our streets. Moving about Boulder should be safe, no matter how you get around.” It continues, “The CAN is the connected system of protected bicycle lanes, intersection enhancements, pedestrian facilities, and transit facility upgrades that will help reduce the potential for severe crashes and make it more comfortable and convenient for people to get where they need to go along Boulder’s main corridors.”

For more information:

Review the design alternatives & fill out the survey online

City of Boulder Core Arterial Network web page

City of Boulder Iris Avenue web page

The alternatives - Pros & Cons coming soon

Resources

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Report a Maintenance Problem, City of Boulder

City of Boulder: To report a street maintenance related problem (potholes on the bike path, paths blocked by snow), complete the form and provide your contact information.

REPORT MAINTENANCE PROBLEM
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Report County Road Service Issue

Boulder County: To report a street maintenance related problem (potholes on the bike path, paths blocked by snow), complete the form and provide your contact information.

REPORT MAINTENANCE PROBLEM
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Report an Aggressive Driver

If you find yourself in a situation with an aggressive driver, remember you can dial *CSP (*277), free of charge. Report “real time” aggressive driving behavior to the Colorado State Patrol.

DIAL *277 ON YOUR MOBILE
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Report a Close Call – Inquire Boulder

Have you had a close call with a bicycle, pedestrian or motorist? This data is important and used in analysis of the safety of our streets.

REPORT A CLOSE CALL
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Bike Theft Prevention & Registration

Learn tips and tricks for preventing your bicycle from being stolen, like registering your bike on Bike Index and knowing which lock to use how to properly use it.

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Join the Advocacy Committee

We aspire to help Boulder become a dynamic and sustainable city that maximizes the safety, comfort, and convenience of its residents and prioritizes long-term environmental stewardship.

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