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Bicycle Friendly Community
Boulder, CO | Platinum Level
Community Highlights: After many years of top-notch investments and community action, Boulder has received the well-deserved Platinum designation from the League. Boulder’s bicycle network and service for cyclists is second to none. The city employs a Complete Streets approach when considering major transportation facility enhancements and maintains their bikeways to high-level transportation standards. Separate snow removal crews begin plowing the city's multi-use paths at exactly the same time that other crews are plowing city streets. At least 95 percent of arterial streets have bike lanes or trails on them. The city’s site GOBikeBoulder.net helps cyclists navigate the city’s 380 mile network of bike facilities by offering turn by turn biking routes, miles traveled and calories burned, as well as CO2 and gas saved by not driving. The expansive bike network has even led local real estate agents to show homes by bike in an effort to highlight the location’s proximity to the network. Recently 100 inverted U racks were installed in addition to the 125 loop-and-post converted parking meters, which were implemented after multi-spot meters were introduced.
Boulder’s bicycling education and promotion programs have been the model for communities across the country. Twelve public and four private schools have Safe Routes to School programs to encourage more kids to walk and bike to school. Bear Creek Elementary was selected as the recipient of the 2008 James Oberstar Award for involving 70 percent of its students in walking and biking activities. More than 7,500 people participated in Boulder’s 2008 Bike to Work Day – an increase of 48 percent from 2007. During Walk & Bike Month there are more than 50 events including bike rides, walks, clinics, Park(ing) Spaces Day, contests between employers and individuals to encourage cycling and huge community gatherings. Boulder’s investment has paid off. Bike use and other non-automotive modes of transportation have limited the growth in vehicular miles traveled in Boulder to approximately 1 percent annually since 1990. Other encouraging efforts include the Buffalo Classic and Circle Boulder by Bike events. Community Cycles, Singletrack Mountain Bike Adventures and Y-Riders offer youth-oriented programming to foster responsibility, peer support and to keep young people active in cycling.
Most Significant Recent Accomplishment: Boulder has a clear dedication to completing their bikeway system. Integrating transportation and recreation in a truly comprehensive network, Boulder has made cycling a great way for its residents to get around and enjoy themselves. Boulder made significant gains in recreational cycling during 2008. Construction of the one-of-a-kind 45-acre Valmont Bicycle Park is anticipated to begin in spring 2009 with a goal of opening the park in late fall 2009. Additionally, 11 miles of mountain bike trails on Open Space and Mountain Park lands have been added in the last two years. Boulder has once again moved to the head of the pack with its innovative initiatives and investments.
Most Compelling Community Statistic: Ridership continues to go up throughout the community. Boulder’s 2007 to 2008 surveys show a 20 percent increase in bicycling in summer months and a 30 percent increase in bike use on Bike to Work Day. Similarly, bike parking counts in the downtown district increased by an average of 28 percent.
Best Result of Designation: Boulder’s Parks and Recreation department and GO Boulder worked in partnership to host the Athletes Holiday Gathering, a City Council supported event, to recognize more than 20 local Olympic and elite athletes that live and train in Boulder. Mayor Shaun McGrath also honored the economic and cultural contributions of Boulder's active living, business and broad-based community efforts which factored in to Boulder’s Platinum award. The award also helped push forward efforts to improve singletrack access and recreational cycling opportunities in the city.
Bicycle Friendly Community
Level Awarded: Platinum
BFC Since: May 2004
Square Miles: 24
Contact: Marni Ratzel