Broadly speaking, we need to improve both transportation within Boulder and within the region, especially to Longmont, Louisville, Lafayette and the Broomfield-Westminster area. Today about 65,000 commuters come daily to Boulder to work or study. Our transportation network is a dinosaur. The roads are clogged, and the carbon output is causing harm.
While it’s easy to identify the problems, it’s harder to solve them because Boulder has been dependent on RTD. Within this regional organization, Boulder is a tiny player. This is why we keep paying for a rail line that is projected to be completed sometime between 2040 and 2050. So far Boulder County taxpayers have paid about $220 million for FasTracks but keep hearing excuses (https://www.denverpost.com/2019/07/09/rtd-fastracks-funding-boulder-county-northwest/). While some funds went towards the Flatirons Flyer, most went towards projects that do not benefit Boulder County residents. As a council member I will collaborate with the Mayor of Longmont, who is leading the way towards peak train service (in the morning and evening).
Meanwhile RTD has cut bus routes within Boulder. Importantly, the fares are too high. I say this as a person who has ridden the bus almost daily for the last five years. To encourage bus ridership, we should experiment with two to three free routes to see whether this increases use. As RTD may not cooperate, the City should consider operating a shuttle service. The money currently spent on Ecopasses by employers, CU students and some neighborhoods could serve as a foundation for a transportation system that serves the needs of people living and working in Boulder – optimally, this would be run by a cooperative RTD. Part of the change should be to downsize buses on less popular routes to reflect ridership. Smaller vehicles generally are less polluting and cause less wear and tear on the roads. It’s also easier to find drivers for smaller vehicles.
Of course, transportation consists of more than cars, buses and trains. Boulder has the distinction of having an extensive network of bike trails and lanes – and is home to many cycling enthusiasts. On Council, I will support measures to increase safety for cyclists, such as lower speed limits within neighborhoods, raised turn lanes, GreenStreets and more. I am also curious about a very successful program in Germany, consisting of local initiatives, to encourage citizens to ride cargo bikes: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/aug/25/cargo-bikes-berlin-four-wheels-bad-transport.