The Airport Connection – Community Cycles letter to the Open Space Board of Trustees

Alexey DaviesAdvocacy, News

Dear OSBT:

Community Cycles wants to ensure that cyclists and other micromobility users have safe and convenient options for commuting between Boulder and Gunbarrel.  

The proposed airport to 61st Multi Use Path project is an important connection for commuters getting directly from the airport, area businesses & housing to Gunbarrel and beyond. This is especially true with the potential for housing at the Boulder Airport site currently under discussion. The Confluence paths don’t provide a direct path to the airport, the Valmont Road section from 55th to Airport Road is not low-stress, and the 61st section is still not funded.

The proposed Airport to 61st Multi Use Path project was approved by OSBT and City Council via disposal of the open space property back in 2017. However, the FAA rejected the proposal from the Airport to 61st due to a “Runway Protection Zone”.  Here’s the Staff memo for more details on this.The below is a diagram showing the routing we suggest for the Andrus road to Airport project. The original route objected to by the FAA is shown in dark green. This routing, which avoids the Runway Protection Zone, is in bright green.

Although we understand that some OSMP staff do not support a re-routing of the path through OSMP land, which requires Section 177 open space disposal, we feel it is essential to many community climate, livability, safety, and equity goals to provide a safe cycling and walking route to better connect Gunbarrel to the rest of the city. While our suggested routing would cross some wetland areas, we have faith that designers can minimize the impacts.  This is an opportunity to experiment with other permeable surfaces to avoid the use of concrete.

We request that you please revive this project and pursue an open space disposal allowing for direct access to the Airport area. This will enable this connection option to be built in the future as funding becomes available and development of the area continues.

Thank you

Community Cycles Advocacy Committee