By Bill Plock
June 14, 2023--Wide shoulders, bike paths, and any infrastructure installed or improved to provide safer cycling just don’t happen. They are advocated for, fought for and voted for. It’s hard to get most times and comes with a great deal of strategy and relationship building–and money.
This is a copy of Cyclists For Community’s (C4C) latest update of all of their activities and initiatives so far in 2023. It’s interesting to learn about all the projects and initiatives on their plate. Included is a link to all the road and infrastructure projects happening in Boulder County–the costs of projects, impact, and timing.
Even if you don’t live or ride in this area, this is an example of what a local advocacy group can do. We have many, many groups in Colorado that have a massive impact on improving cycling whether it be on road or dirt.
Here is a list from Bicycle Colorado of all of the local advocacy organizations.
The rest, from Matt Muir of C4C
When you donate and support C4C, these posts show where your support goes. C4C’s annual fundraising gala, Crank It Forward, took place in May 2023. It was a big success, thank you to everyone who helped. Here’s a look at where the $91,000 (the updated figure as of June 14) raised at Crank It Forward is going.
Cyclists for Community 2023 Infrastructure Goals
Transportation infrastructure construction costs are in the millions of dollars if not more. The way that C4C can affect outcomes on this scale is by agreeing with Boulder County to help pay the community match segment that is typical of federal and state grants.
By “putting money on the table,” C4C can leverage, for example, $5,000 or $30,000 of its donations into hundreds of thousands or millions of dollars in grants for desirable infrastructure projects. This was the case in the successful $30,000 donation from C4C to Boulder County and the consequent grant for $400,000 for a Boulder – Lyons bikeway feasibility study that is underway now.
In 2023, C4C agreed with Boulder County to contribute $5,000 each for grants to build the Jay Road segment of the LoBo Trail, for a study for a City of Boulder to Jefferson County line bikeway along SH 93, and for a study for a City of Boulder to Louisville/Lafayette bikeway. Here’s the outcome of those grant applications.
- $300,000 for a City of Boulder to Jefferson County line along SH 93 bikeway study, declined.
- C4C does not have to contribute $5,000.
- $1,920,000 for construction of the Jay Road segment of the LoBo trail, wait-listed.
- C4C will hold its promised $5,000 contribution aside until the status is resolved.
- $425,000 for a City of Boulder to Louisville/Lafayette bikeway study, granted.
- Due to grant timing, C4C will pay $5,000 to Boulder County in 2025 to fulfill its commitment.
Thanks to The Sunderland Group and Lockton for supporting C4C’s ability to commit to these contributions early on and ahead of schedule. That makes partners like Boulder County and granting authorities trust C4C’s ability to deliver.
C4C’s Position Regarding The Boulder County Transportation Master Plan
Many times it’s necessary to fight over the plan. In the case of the Boulder County Transportation Master Plan (TMP) the only thing needed is to support the plan. Especially the “network, multi-modal” components of the plan.
This TMP puts separated bicycling infrastructure parallel to major commuter highways in the form of hard surface multi-use paths. It builds soft-surface paths for recreation like the LoBo, BERT (Boulder – Erie), and St. Vrain Greenway (Longmont – Lyons). It builds and maintains bike-able shoulders on lower-volume County roads.
In sum, it gives people choices to access work, services, and play; safely and near where they live.
There are at least a couple of things that are missing. One, the original TMP had a “Regional Mountain Trails” program for connections to the West. The 2013 floods wiped out funding for this program. Some form of a planning program needs to come back. Great mountain trail planning can look at this master plan from COMBA for trails in Jefferson County like this, for example.
Another missing component is the separated bikeway along SH 93 between Boulder and Golden. It’s in the TMP but it’s not in the sales tax funding list and its application for state or federal funding was declined. That would be a great connection and one whose planning and funding cannot get lost. That’s another job for C4C.
Cyclists for Community 2023 Outreach Goals
For years, C4C reimbursed Jamestown for the cost of one porta-potty in the town park where cyclists inundate the small town, especially on weekends and holidays. What C4C learned is that this makes a difference to a small community. And it improves relations between locals, drivers, and cyclists.
Here’s where C4C’s 2023 outreach is, mainly porta-potty partnerships.
- Paid and delivered
- 1 seasonal unit in Jamestown in the park (The Sunderland Group)
- 1 seasonal unit in Raymond at the Raymond Store Cabins (C4C and anonymous)
- 1 year-long unit at The Mountain Fountain in Hygiene (Payroll Vault – Boulder)
- 2 units in progress at the Gold Hill Store. The owner is working on making these semi-permanent and it’s going to involve a bit of construction. (Gravelrado – great riding with great friends / anonymous)
- 1 more unit in Jamestown which has up to four during peak season
- 1 unit at the Altona Grange. C4C is contemplating making this a winter season, November to April item, since it’s on the flats, not the mountains.
- C4C is exploring other locations
- C4C also explored making a $1,000 donation to the Ned Shred program. This remains a possibility to be deliberated as part of C4C’s allocations.
The Boulder County Cycling Community (B3C)
This is a new and important part of C4C’s outreach. The Boulder County Cycling Community consists of 80 clubs, retailers, promoters, and industry organizations in Boulder County. They agree to receive occasional communications from C4C about work that benefits all Boulder County cyclists.
Beginning in June 2023, C4C will survey the B3C on how C4C can help their organizations. The goal is to represent the cycling community’s interests as a whole. Stay tuned for updates.
C4C’s policy work is the most difficult to explain because it can sometimes be arcane, long, and tedious work.
One concrete program that C4C continues to work on is the follow-up to the $27,000 donation C4C made to Bicycle Colorado’s SHIFT Driving Program. This program took years to fund and develop but is now about to produce the first version of high-quality online content covering the laws and rules for sharing the roads in Colorado.
The real promise of SHIFT Driving is to scale it to driver’s ed, alternative sentencing programs, and similar. Bicycle Colorado has begun work on this. C4C has already helped with alternative sentencing applications. Thanks to the Boulder County DA’s office and Transportation Department, Boulder County is already taking a look at SHIFT Driving’s potential use as an alternative sentence. That is, when appropriate, and instead of punishing cited drivers, they complete the course. C4C is taking a look at possibly supporting the use of SHIFT Driving at scale in more ways, stay tuned.
Signage remains a frustrating topic for C4C. The goal is to understand the role of the Bicycle Advisory Committee’s recommendations to the Manual of Uniform Traffic Control Devices and how those recommendations may be applicable in Boulder County. Unfortunately, the incentives are misaligned on this topic and the process is averse to change.
The extension of the Boulder County transportation sales tax in the form of 2022’s ballot measure 1C may have seemed mundane but it’s a big deal. The funding mechanism pays for the “baseline” level of maintenance and improvements to Boulder County transportation projects. The result is admittedly incremental but it’s also long-term, ongoing funding for a very favorable list of projects. C4C paid for the logo in support of the ballot measure and was part of a group that helped the measure pass by 81%.
C4C is still working on an update to the summary cycling-related traffic laws listed on Boulder County websites. This has taken a while if only due to personnel changes and other delays. Stay tuned for an update.
C4C remains routinely involved in county-wide Vision Zero meetings. These are good and important safety meetings. Support for the SH 119 bikeway design and project continues as well. This will be a “role-model” project and that’s important because it creates an improved standard for safety and dedicated bicycling facilities including e-bikes.
C4C’s exploration of state-wide path connectivity found that there are at least plans for a lot of paths. But, what may work best is to focus on Boulder County where things like a path network have the capacity to lead on the topic for other counties around Colorado.
Program Service Goals Going into 2024
C4C’s program service goals are determined by the deliberation of its board and staff and informed by our mission, supporters, constituents, and partners. That process has recently begun anew. The product of those deliberations will be shared via C4C’s media. Thanks for supporting C4C and its mission.