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The City of Boulder parked the first test run of a bicycle-friendly road alteration on the northeast edge of campus in the weeks before CU classes began.
The city’s Public Works Department launched near the end of summer the initial stages of a “living laboratory” to find the best way to integrate bicyclists alongside cars in Boulder’s Transportation Master Plan.
“Right now, we’re actually during the analysis stage,” Mike Banuelos, a spokesperson for the department, said. “The master plan itself will be set for potential review by city council in the spring of 2014.”
The first bicycle treatment was a set of redrawn parking lines that requires cars back in to spots running down University Avenue, a single-lane road alongside campus, from Broadway to 17th Street. The new parking lines were reversed from the direction cars previously faced in the spots across from Continuing Education and the Armory, up the street from Macky Auditorium.
Parking tickets have been issued to cars with their front ends to the curb. Fines for the violation have read “$0.”
Amy Belue, assistant to the director of Journalism & Mass Communication that is housed in the Armory, said the spots are usually filled by part-time faculty and campus visitors. Getting cars to park the new direction, Belue said, has been a game of monkey-see, monkey-do.
“If people see cars that are backed in, they’re probably going to back in,” Belue said. “Although the first week it was about half-and-half.”
The new parking stops traffic, Belue said, because drivers have to slow to a halt and back up to the curb.
CU junior and neuroscience major Laura Moore, an administrative assistant in the Armory, said the new parking direction could be an accident waiting to happen.
“I think that it’s kind of hazardous,” Moore, 20, said. “You’re going to have to turn around, and cars are coming, students are coming and it’s probably not safe.”
In addition to the back-in parking, additional buffered, or protected, bike lanes were added on University Avenue from 9th Street to Broadway to separate bicyclists from driving and parking lanes.
Other tests will include protected cycle tracks, a bike boulevard, an advisory bike lane and bike parking regulations.
Contact CU Independent Staff Writer Kelsey McWilliams at Kelsey.email@example.com.