Saturday, June 13, 2015

News-Press: "Bicycling: 7 cities"--Boulder, CO


                                             DETHRONING KING CAR  
In 2013, the City of Boulder started a “Living Laboratory” program to test new infrastructure options, such as this one, to increase biking, walking and the use of public transit. This project is a parking-protected bike lane that allows for a more comfortable and protected ride adjacent to traffic.
(Photo: Special to
Boulder, Colorado, is on a road diet; it's looking to "rightsize" four corridors in the city, which would entail converting overbuilt four-lane roads into three-lane roads with wider, protected bike lanes.

The end goal is to improve safety for all road users, said Dave "DK" Kemp, a senior transportation planner for the city of Boulder. The car has been king in transportation planning since after World War II and it can be like grappling with a giant, he said.

"It's sort of an ailment of our society that we've been so dependent on motor vehicles that we really haven't chosen to look at other options," said Kemp. "We've been planning for vehicles forever and we now need to bring walking, biking and transit up."

Clearly, having Kemp on your payroll helps. Kemp has been a bike coordinator in three of four cities that have received the platinum bicycle-friendly designation, one notch below the unachieved diamond, given out by the League of American Bicyclists.

"Planning for bikes and pedestrians, you're also planning for less congestion, because you're getting more people out of the cars."

In 2013, Boulder started a "Living Lab" program to test innovative design options, such as protected bike lanes and bike boxes, which put bikes in front of cars at intersections to prevent crashes, to increase bicycling, walking and riding the bus. The program is high on community engagement.

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