Contra-flow Bike Lane – Boulder, CO
Boulder, Colorado recently achieved the creme de la creme - Platinum bike status from the League of American Bicyclists so Streetfilms decided to pay the city a visit to get the scoop. Among the many bicycle amenities the city can boast, none spoke to us more than the contra-flow bicycle lane that runs three city blocks, connecting their popular Pearl Street pedestrian mall to a vital link of interconnected greenways. Streetfilms was impressed - and a little bit obsessed - by it.
Marni Ratzel, the Bike and Pedestrian Transportation Planner for GO Boulder met up with us to talk about the art of contra-flowing.
[00:08] A contra-flow bike lane is when the bikes travel against traffic,
motor vehicle traffic that is. So here we are at the 13th
Street contra-flow bike lane. Bikes share the motor vehicle lane
going northbound and they have their own lane contra-flow going south.
So we have a shared lane going northbound and a dedicated bike lane,
physically separated, going southbound. It really is one of the
spines. It’s one of the north/south spines going through Downtown.
It brings bikes right where they want to be, connecting from our retail
corridor of Downtown to the Farmers Market, which is one of the best
things to do on the weekend.
[00:56] In this section of 13th Street there are more bikes
travelling in this corridor than there are motor vehicles. Great
bike parking all along it, particularly Downtown.
[01:09] It was controversial to put this contra-flow bike lane in.
Trade-offs of taking away parking or motor vehicle lane are never easy,
but this is a successful project that works for everyone.