Community Cycles had the opportunity to be involved in the planning stage of the proposed updates to CO7 (Arapahoe Avenue). Here is our feedback to CDOT:
Thank you for the opportunity to comment on the CO 7 (Arapahoe Avenue) Corridor Segments A and B projects.
The Community Cycles Advocacy Committee feels that Option 2 in CDOT’s presentation, in which the bicycle facility is adjacent to the multi-use path and separated from the travel lane by the amenity zone, is better than Option 1. Option 2 allows plowed snow to be piled in the amenity zone without impacting the bicycle facility, and increases cycling and walking comfort by maintaining more separation from moving traffic.
The amenity zone should maintain the separation between traffic and bicycles through intersections, consistent with protected intersections as described by NACTO (Exhibit 1). Keeping the bike lane well away from the vehicle lane provides queueing space for turning drivers to wait. The amenity zone also provides space so that the bike lane can continue straight with minimal deviation at intersections. Vegetation needs to be kept very low on the approach to intersections to improve visibility of the cyclist and pedestrians to the driver, as shown by the “Clear Sight Distance” label in Exhibit 1.
Exhibit 1. Recommended protected intersection design from NACTO design guide, “Don’t Give Up at the Intersection”.
Where it crosses all minor streets and driveways, the bike path should maintain grade as a raised crossing, which would slow turning movements and signal to drivers that cars are crossing bicycle and pedestrian paths.
Having separate bicycling and walking zones is better than having a single bi-directional mixed-use path for cyclists and pedestrians. Taking this further, CDOT could also consider having 2-way cycle tracks on both sides of the street, with smaller pedestrian sidewalks. In either case, we emphasize the importance of allowing bi-directional cycling on both the north and south sides of CO 7, because people will bike that way. People won’t cross 6 lanes of car traffic to go a few blocks and then cross again.
There should be no unprotected left turns at signalized intersections along the entire length of CO 7. Unprotected left turns across multiple traffic lanes, sidewalks and bike paths will predictably lead to serious crashes with injuries and possibly death. The Vision Zero approach calls for identifying and mitigating high-risk conditions before they lead to serious crashes.
Because there are several destinations in Boulder east of 63rd, including Eco-Cycle, the Boulder Jewish Community Center, and the Boulder Valley School District’s offices and vocational educational programs and Arapahoe Ridge High School, fully protected bicycle and pedestrian facilities should extend to Westview Drive. At this point the transition from Segment A to Segment B should occur. There should be fully protected bike facilities continuing even further eastward in the Segment B area.
Currently, between 75th St and 287, there are only 2 traffic lanes, with barely a shoulder. Adding more traffic lanes will require a lot of road widening in this section. The addition of a center left turn lane and physically protected walking and cycling facilities would make the road safer for all road users without unnecessarily expanding auto capacity.
Where there are right of way constraints, the center median width should be reduced, not the separation between automotive traffic and vulnerable users.
Thank you for the opportunity to provide input on this important project.
The Community Cycles Advocacy Committee
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