Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Briefly in Boulder

I'm going to take a small detour from Big Dummy related activities to write about a short tour of bicycle supportive infrastructures found in Boulder, Colorado. I happened to be in Boulder for a meeting today and took a few shots of random bike facilities while I was there. A lot of things in that town are going very right for bike infrastructure.

First, I happened to ride past Casey Middle School and was impressed by the following scene:
Yessir, that's a large solar array acting as a shade for about 100 or so bikes. Every spot was filled, and then some.
Wouldn't it be amazing to see bike racks like this at every school, place of employment and center of commerce? However, someone in authority having decided to have a large number of racks installed is only part of what is impressive about this scene. Those bike racks didn't fill themselves; it requires a community commitment of broad social, cultural, policy and infrastructural support to encourage riding to school. Extra kudos to the school administration and engineers for the large solar array.

Continuing to my destination I noticed the intuitive and simple to follow directional signage for bikes at many intersections. These appear to be more easily identifiable and understandable than the D route signs presently used in Denver.
Clear signs eliminate some of the guesswork
Next was the innovative contraflow bike lane on 13th Street protected by a physical barrier from car traffic. The setup featured diagonal car parking and one lane of Northbound car traffic, along with one lane of Southbound bike traffic, all sharing the same street. Everything was neatly marked so that cars, bikes and pedestrians kept to the correct place and/or direction of travel.
From left: sidewalk, diagonal car parking, Northbound car lane, protective barrier, Southbound bike lane, sidewalk
Contraflow lane at an intersection
In an arched section of the contraflow lane, skirting a pedestrian courtyard
The off-street facilities are just as impressive. I took note of even more examples of clear and instructive directional signage on the trail system. 
Sign post at a major trail intersection in Central Park
Amsterdam and Copenhagen are great, but there's a lot to be learned in our own back yard. Variations on each of these items could easily be applied in Denver, and have already been tested and proven by our neighbors to the north. This brief recounting features just a few of the great bicycle-supportive elements observable in Boulder. I encourage anyone who hasn't done so to visit Boulder on a bike to get a firsthand glimpse of these and other bicycle facilities in action.

No comments:

Post a Comment