Letters to the editor: Feb. 26, 2024

On bike lanes and the day shelter

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First, do no harm

The Baseline Project from Foothills Parkway to US 36 is intended to improve safety. Intersections have been redesigned with very tight right turns to slow vehicles and indented bike lanes to make bicycles more visible to those turning cars. 

The Mohawk/Baseline intersection implemented these “best practices.” Shortly afterward, a 67-year-old bicyclist suffered a concussion and broken sacrum.  He mistook two speed bumps for painted stripes and failed to follow the new indented bike lane. 

Without the new changes, the accident would not have occurred. A new design, intended to improve safety, that almost immediately results in a serious accident needs to be reexamined.

The city’s response to the accident? Install more bollards/reflective poles to force bicyclists to follow the new indented bike path.  

The new design is not intuitive. It requires obstacles to force drivers and cyclists to follow new design paths. For the cyclist, the indented bike path requires four changes in direction, meaning that any debris or ice on that path risks the bike sliding and crashing.  A path straight through the intersection does not have this risk.  

Beyond that, what should the “penalty” be for a bicyclist following the common and intuitive path straight through the intersection? Apparently the city believes the bicyclist should hit an obstacle.

Bicyclists need to be aware of traffic at an intersection, not worried about unexpected barriers placed in their path. I live near Baseline and often travel between 35th Street and Mohawk. When biking, it felt safe to me with a wide bike lane and great visibility.  

Boulder crash data goes back seven years and shows it is indeed quite safe: two bicycle accidents, only one involving injury. It would take seven years of injury-free data to improve on that record.  

Given this, a “first do no harm” approach should have been adopted. It was not: Every intersection was redesigned and concrete barriers were installed.

The city should not redesign sections of Baseline that already are both safe and convenient.

— Lee Gilbert, Boulder

Day center 

I am writing this letter in response to the article, “Under One Roof,” (Feb. 15, 2024). I greatly appreciated the article and learned more about the day center. 

The spokesperson identified many questions that remain unanswered. This was concerning, because examination of the current literature in various disciplines provides the answers. 

An analogy to Disney World was made when describing the unknowns and development of the day center. Given what we know about this population, looking at the day center from that perspective is a fool’s game. Misunderstanding the level of acuity of these individuals will result in outcomes falling miserably short of the desired objectives.  

— Doug Jowdy, Boulder

Thank you Boulder Weekly for Kaylee Harter’s “Under One Roof.” The Homeless Day Center is happening for real! 

Kaylee manages to describe the complicated process that Boulderites have talked about doing for years. Thanks to the many people and organizations doing the work: City staffers Megan Newton and Lyndsy Morse-Casillas; BSH staffers Andy Schultheiss, Michael Block and Spencer Downing; Boulder Chamber’s Jonathan Singer; RTD bus services and so many more. 

Local homeless people also are a critical part of planning the Day Center. Crystal and G. and Brittany Ann — good work! 

— Nancy Taddiken, Boulder

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