At a glance: Jan. 3, 2023

RTD fares, flyer removal and single use bags: Boulder County news briefs

0

Ride cheaper

RTD fares were lowered across the board for the first time at the start of the new year. Three-hour passes decreased from $3 for local or $5.25 for regional to $2.75 for local or regional, day passes (not including airport) went from $6 to $5.50, airport travel went from $10.50 to $10 and a monthly pass including airport went from $200 to $88. 

Discount fares for seniors, individuals with disabilities, Medicare recipients and individuals enrolled in RTD’s income-based fare discount program are set for $1.35 for a three-hour pass, $2.70 for a day pass and $27 for a monthly pass, all of which include airport travel. The changes came after a yearlong study that aimed to create fares that were more equitable and affordable, according to an RTD release

ICYMI: City apology for flyer removal 

Boulder City Manager Nuria Rivera-Vandermyde apologized in a Dec. 22 email to the community after the Parks and Recreation department removed “kidnapped” flyers on the Pearl Street Mall relating to missing Israelis after the Oct. 7 attack.

The flyers were removed at the request of community member Andrew O’Connor, who wrote in an email to the City that the flyers were “hate speech” and “akin to posting White Supremacists or Neo-Nazi posters or pictures of Hitler.”

Rivera-Vandermyde wrote in an email to O’Connor that she and the City “disagree with your conclusions that the flyers depicting pictures of Israelis missing after Oct. 7 constitute ‘false propaganda’ or is akin to ‘hate speech.’” She also referenced an additional email from O’Connor to council member Mark Wallach in which O’Connor “den[ied] the Holocaust occurred and minimiz[ed] the devastating atrocities that occurred.” Boulder Weekly was unable to locate that message in an online database of emails to City Council. We have requested a copy. 

Rivera-Vandermyde wrote that staff had “good intentions” in removing the flyers, but that “such removal was done too hastily.”

“Political speech is protected by our Constitution, and if we as a local government are going to provide a ‘town square’ opportunity for paper materials to be posted in a city park, we cannot make content-based decisions,” Rivera-Vandermyde wrote in an email to O’Connor. 

She said the City will be “shoring up” its policies and practices relating to the management of the billboards.

In other news…

  • BoCo residents can provide feedback on the South Boulder Road corridor’s future to make it more accessible. The survey is part of a study by the Denver Council of Regional Government in partnership with Boulder County, the cities of Boulder, Lafayette, Louisville, and RTD that aims to improve transit speed, safety and connectivity along the corridor. Residents can learn more about the study and provide feedback at a Jan. 24 Zoom meeting. Sign up for the meeting at bit.ly/southboulderrd or take the survey at bit.ly/drcogsurvey.
  • Single-use plastic bags are banned in Colorado stores, restaurants and grocery stores as of Jan. 1, as the next phase of HB21-1162 goes into effect. Stores can still provide recycled paper bags for a 10-cent fee, and restaurants and small stores that only operate in the state and have three or fewer locations are exempted from the ban.