PLAN-Boulder County submitted the following comments to the County Commissioners on October 24, 2019.
PLAN-Boulder County (PBC) is writing to express its support for adoption of the 2019 Update to the Boulder County Transportation Master Plan (TMP).
We recognize that addressing our transportation challenges is key to maintaining the livability and sustainability of our community. Indeed, an efficient, effective, and environmentally responsible multimodal transportation system that provides true choice among modes and connects our communities to the rest of the region and the state with a menu of mobility options is critical to the community achieving its goals.
This plan clearly documents the mobility challenges we are facing as a community. Currently, more than 60,000 people commute into Boulder daily, and the plan forecasts a 28% increase in travel within the County and a 61% increase in people traveling into Boulder County from the rest of the region over next 20 years. Indeed, there is a more than doubling of travel from Weld County into Boulder County forecast between 2015 and 2040. It is clear that in the future Boulder needs a convenient, affordable, environmentally responsible, flexible regional multimodal transportation system that does not rely on single occupant fossil-fueled vehicles.
To that end, PBC supports the County in its updated TMP. We particularly appreciate:
● The priority placed on the need for effective regional multimodal mobility improvements , and recognition of the role that all modes must play if we are to have a system that allows travel without use of the single occupant vehicle, whether regional transit, regional bike connections, or ridesharing. It is also critical that for any of these modes to be successful aspects of regional mobility, the complete trip must include implementation of effective first and final mile connections.
● Recognition of the need to increase mobility options and address multimodal congestion and safety in the key corridors connecting the County to the rest of the region (particularly our neighbors to the north and east (Larimer, Weld, Adams and Broomfield county communities) with a focus on improving mobility for all modes, including the addition of managed lanes, bus rapid transit, intersection and safety improvements, and separated bicycle connections along SH119 (Boulder – Longmont), SH7 (Boulder-Lafayette) , SH66 (Longmont-Lyons), South Boulder Road (Louisville-Boulder) and the US36 corridor ( Boulder- Lyons).
● The policy direction to not add general purpose lanes to any of our primary county corridors, and to implement managed lanes that give priority to transit, bikes and other multimodal options, while charging single occupant vehicles for travel in these lanes along the SH119, SH7 and other key regional state highway corridors.
● Implementation of shuttle service to recreational trailheads such as the Hessie and 4th of July trailheads, Eldorado Canyon, and the Brainard Lake recreation areas in order to manage demand for parking and appropriate use of these valuable resources.
● Providing a complete trip through effective and convenient first and final mile connections. While providing regional transit connections between communities is essential, without convenient connections to the ultimate destination, ridership on regional transit will be less than optimal.
● Recognizing the relationship between affordable housing and affordable transportation, and that both must be addressed in order for a thriving, equitable and balanced community. We strongly support the continued efforts to develop a countywide transit pass program that provides affordable mobility options for all residents and employees.
The TMP Update provides substantial documentation of the funding challenges necessary to provide an effective transportation system that meets our community goals. Clearly, a combination of additional local, regional, state and federal funding will be necessary to create a transportation system that meets our current, as well as our future needs. We are committed to participating in a collaborative and constructive community conversation on how best to accomplish the transportation system described in this plan.
This TMP provides a clear vision of an effective, sustainable, and equitable multimodal transportation system that connects our communities to each other and the region and we urge your you to support the 2019 Update to the County Transportation Master Plan.