The BBC slams Boulder

The BBC recently slammed Boulderites claiming they The people of Boulder are just as wedded to their cars as they are anywhere else in America.

They are right and they are wrong.

They are wrong because places in middle America don't even come CLOSE to having an infrastructure to support cycling like Boulder or Denver has. The lack of urban decay and the infrastructure to support citizens to get around bike bike creates an environment making cycling a no brainer in this town. There are also many who have elected (through concious choice not because of $$) to go Car-less. And on any given weekend day you will be hard bound to find a place on some of Boulder's roads to NOT see a cyclist.

Do you think the BBC is right?

But they are right as well. Given the wonderful infrastructure that this town has created for its citizens sometimes I wonder, "Where are all the cyclist?" Build it and they will come they say and they are but the rate of which we convert drivers to cyclist is a painfully slow one. As a parent is still AMAZES me to see how many parents still drive their children to school when there is child fatness (obesity) on the rise and Safe Routes to schools is way better than when we were kids but no, we drive. Then there are trips to grocery stores, drugstores, work, friends house, etc... Portland citizens do a much better job than we do in this area. Where do all the cyclist go after our once a year Bike to Work day is over? Hang the bike up and wait until next year's Bike to Work Day? Boulder/Denver we can do better, maybe don't sell your car tomorrow but try replacing one trip next week that would have been done with a car with your bike.

I doubt the readers of this site need to make the change it's the ones who don't know about us or read this site often are the ones who could make the change so lets all try to get the word out and help everyone change.

There are ton's of great cycling stories that come out of Colorado
- Moving ones apartment by bikes, we covered this story twice
- Meals on wheels... two wheels
- Many companies in Boulder have showers for bike commuters. Something many consider when looking for a job
- Bank tellers have a lane just for bike commuters

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No but yes.....

Compared to THE REST OF AMERICA, there is no way boulder is even close to being AS DEPENDENT on our cars.

That said, if you look at this from a global perspective Boulder is very much a typical "American Town" with most people incredibly dependent on cars on a daily basis.

I'm excited to live in a place that is trying harder than most American towns to be eco-friendly, but we're still, well...American. Unfortunately, the car is a huge part of our lives, rather than just a bonus on rainy days and long trips.

We are no different

I think they are correct in that Boulder is just as dependent on cars as anyplace else. After 17 yrs of living as an avid cyclist in Boulder, I can say that the traffic has become progressively worse over the years and it seems to be at a point where the town can no longer support the population growth rate we continue to incur. I have relatives from California who visit annually and they say that Boulder is more congested and crowded than their hometowns where traffic is considered some of the worst in the country. Growth in population here seems to be unsustainable and it seems students of CU have stopped going back home for the summer as they once did leaving the town sleepy during the summer.

This massive influx of people and vehicles also creates a dynamic where commuting has become much more dangerous than it was in the past. Aggressive drivers as well as a lack of awareness/entitled attitudes by bicyclists and pedestrians in town seems to be creating a more hostile attitude towards cyclists and peds.

I do believe that we are better off than the rest of the country and we have more choices and alternatives accessible to us but Boulder is small enough that all of these growing issues have become glaringly obvious and there seems to be no possible way that we will reverse the issues anytime soon. When I do commute by bicycle in town, I tend to find less congested albeit much longer routes to and from my destinations. Be safe and aware out there on two wheels!