Over the last year or so, I’ve been involved with the planning and design of the public space which will accompany some of the first re-developments in the Transit Village/Boulder Junction, mostly Pearl Parkway between 30th St. and the railroad tracks. I’ve primarily given feedback as a cyclist and pedestrian — someone who uses our streets under my own power. Even in Boulder, those of us who don’t own, and only very rarely use private motor vehicles are still unusual. Nevertheless, the long term goal of the TVAP is to have 60% of all trips in the region done by foot, bike or transit — anything but the much loved and loathed single occupancy vehicle (SOV). I was particularly taken by something Tim Plass said in the PLAN Boulder election forum this fall when asked to envision Boulder 30 years in the future: Every once in a while you’ll see an electric car on the road, but mostly it’ll be bikes and pedestrians and transit. I agree with these goals; we should pursue them vigorously. But the city being described by Plass and the TVAP is very different from the status quo today, and it’s difficult to take the steps necessary to realize it. Sometimes I think of myself as a time-traveling constituent from this future city, describing what it is that we will want then, when the majority of people aren’t driving a private car everywhere they go. One thing that I’m confident we won’t want is so much “free” parking.
I’ve been biking along the Goose Creek bike path a lot over the last few months. Boulder Aikikai is out there, and so is Community Cycles, and I’ll go for a short triangular on the Boulder Creek path, 13th St. and Goose Creek when I just need to get out in the sun for a little while. Throughout the summer I was repeatedly reminded that there’s no good way to get from the path up to the east side of 30th St, and crossing 30th kind of sucks, especially when there’s any traffic. A couple of times I went so far as to go under it and the nearby railroad tracks, and then up into the parking lot, and back over the railroad tracks and through another parking lot. I’m sure this involved trespassing. And I wasn’t the only one doing it either, there was a trail worn in the grass and the gravel.
So I was stoked to hear that a ramp connecting Goose Creek to the east side of 30th was in the works, and this fall the heavy equipment came out and started making it a reality. I’ve been taking pictures as it progresses: