Currently Boulder is debating “right-sizing” some roads to add bigger bike lanes, a center turn lane, and removing a travel lane in each direction. Needless to say this is contentious; below is the letter I wrote to City Council about it:
I’m writing to support the experiments to right-size streets here in Boulder, to allow safer bicycle and car traffic.
I’ve only lived in Boulder for 4 years. The primary reason my wife, daughter and I moved here was Boulder’s reputation as a place where we could live car-free. We haven’t reached that ideal but during the summer time, we almost never drive. It’s amazing and freeing! Our daughter’s experienced all sorts of things she’d never see from a car – seeing coyotes stalking prairie dogs, fast-moving storms, splashing through puddles, the sudden drop in temperature as the sun goes down, the joy of arriving at a restaurant a little bit sweaty and very hungry, etc. Every trip we take by bike is a mini adventure, and it is truly magical.
Unfortunately, even in the short time we’ve lived here, I’ve seen traffic become increasingly heavy, with faster traffic, less attentive drivers, and more and more close calls. We live on 26th and Pine, and I work from home, and I hear or see at least one near-miss per day out my window; I don’t ride on Folsom because the auto traffic is so heavy.
I would love to see an experiment to make auto traffic a little less terrifying (from a bike or a car!), and make riding a bike feel much safer. Previous experiments in Seattle (where we used to live) have been very successful, and I would love it if Boulder surpassed their success.
Thanks very much for your time, and I look forward to riding on Folsom with my daughter!