My comments below to Boulder’s Transportation Advisory Board on June 8th, 2015.
Boulder’s debate on reconfiguring its streets is centered around how we use our scarcest resource – land – for transportation. We need a just transportation system that gives equal opportunity to all users regardless of wealth, age, or physical ability. Making Boulder streets safe is an issue of equity.
We need increased equity of space. Biking and walking use land much less intensely than automobiles to move people around. And Boulder’s auto-oriented street design prioritizes peak-hour traffic, leaving our streets less safe and inefficient the other twenty hours a day.
We need increased equity of safety. The benefits of reconfiguring our streets flow across all users, but particularly help the young, the old, and the less confident who walk or bike. People in Boulder should not have to own a $25,000 piece of property to transport around town safely.
We need increased equity of affordability. Housing is the most expensive part of living in Boulder, but transportation often consists of the next highest cost. We must provide safer means to use varied modes of transportation so that Boulder families with less income can consider making these tradeoffs.
As someone who advocates for getting more people on bikes, our request for equity is simple: one safe travel lane in each direction through direct routes in our city.