April 21, 2009

Community Cycles in Boulder, Colorado: Letter to the City Council re Bike Path Project.

Dear Boulder City Council:

I am a board member of Community Cycles and am writing you on behalf of our board and the over 700 Boulder residents who are Community Cycles members and have made donations to CC in the past year. We would like to express our thoughts on the proposed 30th Street bike path project

Community Cycles feels this project is important to Boulder’s bicycle infrastructure and should proceed as planned by the city Transportation Department. While we hope the City will do the most it can to minimize impacts, including planting new trees and buffer zones, we feel it is important for the safety of cyclists to move forward with this project as planned at this time. 

Currently, the area in dispute by the landowner will be part of the underpass under 30th Street. It is our understanding that without this land, the underpass cannot be built and the entire project is in jeopardy. A new bike path facility on 30th Street is an important part to completing a major missing link in Boulder’s bicycle transportation system. The underpass is also very important. The underpass will provide a safe crossing of 30th Street that does not currently exist. Right now, cyclists wishing to cross 30th Street are forced to cross a very busy intersection at Pearl or an awkward intersection at Walnut. At both these intersections, bicyclists have to contend with four lanes of traffic in each direction and multiple right and left turns movements by cars, trucks and buses. As bad as these intersections are for cyclists now, they will get exponentially worse when the Transit Village goes in. Without the underpass, accessing the Transit Village from the south by a bicycle will be exceedingly difficult and dangerous. All aspects of the Transit Village Plan encourage people to use bicycles or alternative means to access the Transit Village and attempt to limit the number of private automobiles driving to the Transit Village. In order to accomplish this, getting to the Transit Village on bicycle has to be safe and practical. This 30th Street project as planned accomplishes that. If this project is not built as planned, the Transit Village will be one of the hardest places to bike to in Boulder! That just doesn’t make any sense.

While Community Cycles is mindful that this project adds more concrete to our environment, the additional concrete is far less than many private parking areas recently planned or built, and the number of private automobile trips prevented by making bicycling in this corridor safer will surely balance the carbon impact of the additional hard surface. I am sure this is something we can easily predict and measure, if needed. 

Thank you for your consideration. 

Sue Prant

Community Cycle Board Member
Chair, Community Cycles Advocacy Committee


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