Thanks to Boulder County and OTAK, Cyclists 4 Community was given an update on the North Foothills Bikeway in June, 2023. C4C delayed sharing information on the update at Boulder County’s request. The County asked for time while it notified stakeholders along the US 36 right-of-way of the study. Notification is a best practice and C4C was pleased to pause.
The update was a general introduction to the early findings all of which are good. OTAK, so far, encountered no major right-of-way (publicly owned property) problems along most or maybe all of the route along US 36 North Foothills Highway.
By agreement with The City of Boulder Open Space and Mountain Parks Department, the path would be routed to the east side of US 36 as closely as possible to its connection to North Boulder.
Not too far north of the intersection of Lefthand Canyon Drive and US 36, the east and the west sides of the right-of-way contain potential routing for the path. C4C asked for the study to explore the possibility of putting the path on both sides in this area in order to achieve one-way cycling traffic on each side and closer to Lyons where the topography results in relatively high speeds for cyclists. OTAK said it could explore this idea.
Another question was that of “grade separation” or how much a bikeway could stay at grade with the existing roadway versus, alternatively, departing from the roadway’s “bed” and, instead, gaining and loosing more elevation along the natural topography of the area.
C4C’s initial recommendation was to allow for grade separation because the route is scenic. Or, as a very experienced voice in the meeting pointed out, “people ride here because it’s beautiful.”
The study is scheduled to be fully completed and in report form by spring 2024. Thank you to everyone who continues to work to fix one of the state’s most dangerous roads for cyclists and, in doing so, restore a safe and beautiful cycling connection in Boulder County.
A not uncommon day on North Foothills Highway. Auto volume and speed predict adverse safety outcomes in proximity to cyclists like this (note the memorial on the signpost). Let’s get this fixed.