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CDOT has begun a multi-year project to improve Arapahoe Road (abbreviated as Highway 7 or SH 7 or CO 7) between Boulder and Brighton.  See for more information.

The large scale project is broken into 13 segments designated A through M.  C4C is included in stakeholder meetings held by CDOT and its contractors.  Meetings on sections A and B have concluded and this post serves as an update from C4C on the project.

An overview of the project’s 13 segments

C4C’s main objective is to guard the provision for a separated bicycling facility or hard surface multi-use path or bikeway that exists in the preliminary plan.  Since Arapahoe crosses both urban and rural areas, the type of bicycling facility will vary and that’s O.K. from C4C’s point of view.

Inside the City of Boulder, C4C typically defers to and supports the great work of Community Cycles.  This is the case on the Arapahoe project.  None the less, C4C, so far, generally supports the project plans both in the city, segment A, and outside of the city in Boulder County, segment B.

A cross section showing the preferred design in the City of Boulder.  Landscape separation from autos and snow storage, then a directional bike facility, and then a multi-use path.

Though not entirely uniform across all of segment A, the above cross section shows a good facility for bikes and pedestrians.  There will be some contra-direction travel.  On balance, this is a good multi-modal facility that has safe, accessible, and appealing bike/ped options.

There are places where the right-of-way is constricted by private property or other obstacles.  In those places, the bike/ped facility has to adapt or be diminished.  In general though, it’s a good design in C4C’s view.  Keep in mind, there’s a nearby network complement in the form of the Boulder Creek Path too.

Another view of the plan for inside the City of Boulder, note the contra-direction cyclist which is not a big problem in C4C’s opinion.

Like the newly rebuilt and protected intersection at Colorado Avenue and 30th, the intersections affected by this project in the City of Boulder will be protected.  That’s more good news.

Survey results ranking desired outcomes.

Starting with the Highway 119 Boulder – Longmont project that will begin construction in April after 11 years of planning, CDOT and its partners have demonstrated an adaptation to a network multi-modal planning approach (the diversification of the utilization of right-of-way) versus the traditional building of single-mode roadways and highways.  This shift can be partly credited to Boulder County government’s leading standards on network multi-modal planning.

The change to network multi-modal planning and construction is very favorable to C4C’s desired outcomes, it’s great for cycling, and it’s good for everyone.

As one goes east, leaves the city, and enters unincorporated Boulder County, the design shifts as shown below.

The separated multi-use path remains in the plan but on one side.

The separated bikeway/multi-use path continues in rural segment B.

As the project re-enters an urban environment in eastern Boulder County, the plans change again.

The preservation of a separated cycling facility or multi-use path with network connectivity along the entire scope of the project, especially in Boulder County, will remain C4C’s main advocacy objective on this project.  So far, things look good.

Thanks to CDOT and its partners for including C4C in stakeholder meetings and being open to C4C’s feedback.

Thanks to C4C’s supporters for making it someone’s job to advocate for outcomes on projects like this that are good for cycling and good for Boulder County.  These projects take place over years or even decades and long term persistence is what’s required to get things right.