Dear Members of Planning Board and Staff:
The Community Cycles Advocacy Committee has some comments on the transportation aspects of the proposed Waterview development at Arapahoe and Old Tale Road.
This proposal provides much-needed workforce housing in the East Boulder area, and helps address a citywide shortage of affordable housing exacerbated by decades of inefficient land use in residential development. There are great connections to the city’s bicycle network since the development abuts the South Boulder Creek path. The site is also along a major transit corridor which currently includes high-frequency bus service. Further, the East Arapahoe Transportation Plan includes bus rapid transit in dedicated curbside lanes.
There are some transportation aspects of the design that could be improved. The 2040 vision in the East Arapahoe Transportation Plan shows raised, protected bike lanes between the street and the multi-use path (see below). Because the Waterview development is unlikely to change again for decades, it is important to go ahead and implement the infrastructure outlined in the EATP now.
We did not see evidence of electric vehicle charging in the included documents. This is very important; U.S. automakers are rapidly switching over to electric vehicles and may be fully electric in the next 20 years. At a minimum, conduit should be installed so that wiring for electric vehicle charging stations can be run inexpensively in the near future, or enhanced as demand grows for such amenities. Power to the site needs to be able to accommodate future electric vehicle charging loads.
Perhaps most importantly, electric bicycles are rapidly becoming an available and highly effective form of transportation. Abundant electrical outlets should be included for e-bike charging, at both the outdoor bike parking, and the secure indoor bike storage in the buildings.
Finally, we’d like to point out that the location of this development would likely attract residents who work in the Flatirons industrial park just to the north and west, and whose daily needs could be served by nearby businesses within easy walking and biking distance. The South Boulder Creek trail provides a beautiful and very direct walking and biking connection between Waterview and these businesses. However, there is no paved access from the path to the southern 2/3 of the business park. While we understand that providing this connection is not the responsibility of the Waterview developer, we feel it is important to point out that a paved connection going down from the path along the levee to Central Ave is desperately and urgently needed, as we noted in comments for the the site review for the redevelopment at 3400 Central. This should be remedied in the near future.
Thanks for considering these comments and for your time.
The Community Cycles Advocacy Committee