As the University of Colorado prepares for another academic year, Boulder transportation officials are considering several changes to protect pedestrians and bicyclists. Specifically, three proposals that build upon existing laws are under review.
Officials first proposed a speed limit for bicyclists entering a crosswalk. Bicyclists would be required to slow down as they approach and travel through an intersection. Testing groups found that speeds of 8 miles per hour would give drivers a chance to see bicyclists and yield in a safe manner. Currently, the city code requires bicyclists to enter intersections "at a speed no greater than an ordinary walk." The new proposal would clarify the expectation for bicyclists and drivers alike. The city's Transportation Advisory Board has already approved this plan.
A second proposal would require bicyclists and pedestrians to push a button that activates flashing lights at specific intersections. Activating the lights is currently optional, and the new ordinance would not change a driver's duty to yield to pedestrians. Last spring, the University and city officials spent nearly $98,000 to install a High Intensity Activated Crosswalk (nicknamed HAWK), at a busy crossing on Regent Drive, just south of Colorado Avenue. The crossing system connects the CU Engineering Center with the Regent Drive Autoplex.