Boulder County provides lots of bike paths and bikeable shoulders — more than what other counties can claim— but that doesn’t mean that Boulder County has enough. Our bike network still has quite a few gaps, such as a good direct connection between Boulder and Longmont. Alexandra Phillips, the Boulder County Bike Planner and a Venus member in good standing (at least she says she is as of this writing) is working to correct that gap.
Alexandra, along with the rest of the project design team, has been working to develop a plan for a nine-mile bikeway from Boulder to Longmont that would be largely in the median of the Diagonal (CO 119). The design includes underpasses at Jay Road, 63rd Street, State Highway 52, and Niwot Road, as well as one under Southbound CO 119 to connect to the existing Hover underpass.
The draft designs have been vetted in public meetings, but Alexandra took public engagement beyond just public meetings by creating a Community Advisory Committee and a Latinx Equity Advisory Committee. She also organized meetings with bicycle advocacy groups. Alexandra believes the dialogue and suggestions from all the public engagement led to a better design. Construction is scheduled to begin in 2024.
The Highway 119 Bikeway Project is the biggest bike project by miles and by dollars currently, but the county is working on several other exciting projects. One that the Venus Ride Committee is looking forward to involves East County Line Road (ECLR). To improve north/south bike accessibility in eastern Boulder County, all the jurisdictions that manage ECLR have been working together to design the entire road.
The first section with a draft design runs between Quicksilver Road to just south of Pike Road. The design has buffered shoulders and a roundabout at the intersection of ECLR and Pike. The roundabout must be large enough to accommodate the many trucks that will angle through it, requiring extra pavement for them along the roundabout’s edge. Cyclists will need to stay in the middle of the lane while going through the roundabout, so riders don’t find themselves next to a giant turning truck.
You can check out the design for the roundabout on the County’s website. The video of the April 12 meeting shows the roundabout at about the 18-minute mark, and you can hear me asking about how the design will ensure cyclists’ safety. Look at the design shown in the video and the bike-related signs that are planned to see if it would work for you. You can comment or ask questions about the design of this project by emailing the project contact.
If you want to get updated information about planned bike improvements in the county and also how and when to comment on the designs, sign up for the County listserv. And keep an eye on our Venus Bike Club website for future blog posts about projects affecting Boulder County cyclists. Ride safely!
Be sure to also read about Alexandra’s work to develop the new Boulder County Bike Map.
Images courtesy Boulder County: