Community Cycles recommendations in advance of Council retreat

Dear members of Council:

For new members and incumbents, congratulations on the election and for returning members, welcome to a new year on Council! Community Cycles looks forward to working with each of you.

This is an exciting time for transportation in the city of Boulder and while we face many challenges, we are also excited about new leadership in the Transportation Department and are thankful Council and staff seem ready to thoughtfully address challenges with pragmatism and innovation.

In particular, Community Cycles feels there are three issues that should be addressed in 2020 and we hope will be considered during the Council retreat:

  • City-wide 20 is plenty speed limits on residential streets
  • Increased funding for transportation
  • Returning to work on the Access Management and Parking Strategy (AMPS)

City-wide 20 is plenty speed limits on residential streets

We appreciate comments several Council members have already made in support of the “20 is Plenty” concept for residential streets. Reducing residential speed limits to 20 mph is an important part of changing the culture of how we drive. Sedans are being replaced by SUVs, which are getting larger and larger and thus more dangerous to people walking and biking, and especially children who are harder to spot from bigger vehicles. We know there will be some resistance from residents and staff who are used to thinking first about maximizing vehicle throughput, but we think the vast majority of Boulder residents want their street to be a safe place for them and their children to walk and bike. We look forward to a robust public progress and, we hope, rapid and widespread implementation of 20 mph residential speed limits.

Increased funding for transportation

The biggest issue facing our Transportation Department right now is a lack of funding. With multiple failed ballot measures statewide, this must be addressed on a local level. While the county may pursue a housing and transportation tax ballot measure, we feel this will still probably be insufficient to meet the city of Boulder’s needs.

You may recall, Community Cycles led the last city of Boulder transportation funding ballot campaign in 2013, which soundly passed. While Council may again choose to do a ballot measure, we encourage you to look seriously at the utility fee funding mechanism that staff has been studying.

Whatever mechanism the city eventually lands on, so long as it equitably funds all modes, Community Cycles stands ready to work hard on this campaign.

Returning to work on the Access Management and Parking Strategy (AMPS)

The city started work on AMPS in 2014. In 2015, a few parking-related items were cleaned up in the code, with the promise that the city would address issues like parking minimums and flexible parking pricing in the near future, but these further actions have not yet happened. Revisiting these policies could reduce congestion; further Boulder’s climate initiatives; help to encourage walking, biking, and transit; reduce stormwater runoff; and simplify affordable housing development. We strongly encourage Council to direct staff to revive this program. There has already been some good work done, including a consultant study. Let’s move to action and modernize our parking policies.

Thank you so much for your service to our community.

Community Cycles Advocacy Committee

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