Community Cycles has been lobbying for a rewrite of the city of Boulder’s Design Construction Standards (DCS) since 2015. The DCS sets the standards for roadway and driveways (think sidewalks widths, turning radii) for public and private roads, driveways and intersections. This applies not just to public roads, but also for all new commercial and residential development in the city.
It’s Time For an Updated Model
The current DCS is based on a suburban model of development and was written before new best practices for bicycle and pedestrian safety. For this reason, Community Cycles reviews every project. While projects are required to meet the DCS, they often fall short of best practices for bike and ped safety. For most projects, Community Cycles goes before the Planning Board and suggests improvements to bring the project beyond the DCS to make the design safer for bikes and peds. Though it would be more efficient to change the standards, this works most of the time. It did not work with the CU project at Broadway and Grandview because this project did not go before the Planning Board (state and federal owned facilities are not required to come before PB).
Community Cycles is Lobbying for Your Safety
The city is in the process of revising the DCS. Community Cycles worked closely with the city on this update of the DCS. Not everything we asked for got in the newest rewrite. We submitted four additional suggestions for this round that were rejected. One of our suggestions would have changed the situation at Broadway and Grandview, requiring an additional crash analysis review for projects meeting specific criteria such as best engineering practices. We lobbied Council to get this added into this version of the DCS update. Our lobbying was effective – city staff will be coming back to Council with the wording and criteria in March! This is especially important as CU is moving forward with CU South and there impacted transporation connections and intersections including Moorhead.
Lobbying for things like a better DCS is very wonky and in the weeds, but this is one of the things Community Cycles does best. Our Advocacy Committee consists of a team of engaged staff and volunteers with a broad knowledge of engineering, planning and land use practices who are working to try to make sure every project is built as safely as possible. You can support this work by joining Community Cycles.