Why Change is Needed

At present, Iris Avenue, a primary east-west route, is dangerous to drivers, not welcoming to pedestrians, and completely unsuited to and unsafe for bicycling. The City notes that average speed on Iris (between Folsom and 19th) is 45 mph, 10 miles an hour over the speed limit of 35 mph, meaning that many drivers are going well in excess of 50 miles per hour on this road. In a collision between an automobile and a pedestrian or cyclist, these are deadly speeds. 

It is not sufficient to assert that cyclists should be expected to use parallel streets like Kalmia and Hawthorn. While these streets may be suitable alternatives for some uses, they include several unsignalized crossings of busy, high-speed streets that would be dangerous for many, including the young, the elderly, and those with disabilities. Moreover, many cyclists will continue to use Iris because it is a more direct route to many destinations, and, therefore, it must be made safer, even if many cyclists prefer alternative routes

L2B: Safety for all users

Bicycling: Currently Iris Avenue has very narrow, unprotected bike paths that put cyclists within a few feet of fast-moving cars. A recent crash involving a bicyclist in the Valmont bike lane reminds us of the dangers of unprotected bike lanes. 

Car drivers: Although the highlight of the Iris Avenue project is the installation of protected bicycle lanes, it will improve safety for car drivers and pedestrians, too. Cars suffer from rear-end collisions, crashes while changing lanes on four-lane roads, and broadside crashes with vehicles turning left. 

Pedestrians: People cross Iris on foot in numerous locations, both at signals and in the middle of blocks. The most recent pedestrian deaths in Boulder were all caused by cars hitting walkers on four-lane roads. We need more safe crossings, and those crossings need to be made more safe. Additional crossings may be added to the designs, but protected intersections are already part of Options A & B, making signalized crossings much safer.

A complete bicycling network

Too often our network for walking and bicycling around the city has sections that are unsafe. When just one or two sections of a travel route are not safe, the whole journey becomes unattractive for bicycling, which encourages people to use cars. Such is the case with Iris Ave., which is hard to cross and very dangerous to ride on. Parallel streets are not an adequate alternative to improvements on Iris because they are circituous, indirect, and not fully safe themselves. Iris Avenue should be a primary route not just for cars, but for all users. Iris For All!

Climate Change

Automobiles in Boulder are a top or the top contributor to global warming. If we are to achieve our climate goals, we will need to drive less. We need effective alternatives to automobiles, which means we need to travel to some of our destinations on foot, by bicycle, or on public transit. We cannot all rely on cars for all trips. 

Some people argue that we can fix cars’ global warming by making all cars electric and changing our electricity generation to come only from non-warming sources. That is a good goal, but we are a very long way from achieving it 100%. We need both electric cars and good car alternatives. Furthermore, electric cars won’t solve the problems of safety, traffic congestion, and parking.



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 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 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.


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.


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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