The following was presented to Boulder City Council by Sue Prant, Executive Director of Community Cycles:
Hi. I am Sue Prant, Executive Director of Community Cycles.
Community Cycles urges you to maintain the motor vehicle closure of west Pearl.
We STRONGLY urge you to read and reread carefully the TAB letter sent to you on this topic. TAB lays out a clear, concise and fact- based argument as to why the closure should be maintained and why the data provided by Community Vitality does not support the staff recommendation to reopen west Pearl to private automobiles.
Also, the hotline post today from Councilperson Benjamin makes excellent points questioning the viability of the data used to support the return of cars. It is imperative that all his clarifying questions be answered for sound policy to be made.
Through the pandemic, this space has served as a safe, unstructured outdoor space for Boulderites, free both from the threat and disturbance of motor vehicles and from the more highly programmed format of the Mall. It’s arguably the most urban place we’ve created in the city. The response you have seen from the public on this issue, much of it from people who rarely participate in local government, is a testimony to its popularity.
Survey after survey and the thousands of hours of outreach by the city to create its many planning documents and guiding principles show that Boulder citizens want calmer, more livable, more human centered streets and public spaces. Citizens are concerned about the climate impacts of Boulder’s continued deference to the private automobile.
We do see room for improvements. It appears that there may be a need for more or better-placed parking for people with disabilities. 10th Street south of Spruce remains configured one-way, requiring access via the alley. This could use study to consider allowing two-way travel.
The street has brought car-free joy to thousands of people. As our climate crisis intensifies and joy, for many, remains hard to come by, now is not the time to push people to constricted sidewalks and allow back the noise, dust, danger, and pollution of motor vehicles. We can continue to study it, but in the meantime we should let west Pearl remain a space for people.