Commuting Solutions’ Summer Community Outreach Recap

Summer in Colorado means weekend farmers markets, spending time in nature and enjoying the amazing summer weather. Here at Commuting Solutions, we’ve been spending our summer vacation with the people that matter most. From making new friends at community events to exploring our region on all modes, summer 2018 is one for the books!

With fall only a month away, we wanted to take a moment, not only to look back at where all we’ve been this summer, but what we have coming up this fall and the rest of the year.

Where We’ve Been in the Community

Bike to Work Day sidewalk art (upper left), Boulder Farmers’ Market (upper right), RTD Rider Appreciation at Broomfield Station (bottom left), Bike to Work Day Shimano Giveaway (bottom right)

From the Longmont Farmers’ Market to Taste It Broomfield, we’ve been soaking up the sun and sharing commute options in communities throughout the northwest metro region this summer. Beginning in July, we teamed up with the Regional Transportation District (RTD) to thank riders for taking transit during our Rider Appreciation events at Broomfield and Table Mesa stations. Commuting Solutions and RTD Representatives enjoyed connecting with riders and hearing their feedback!

We’ve also been in Lafayette, teaming up with the Lafayette Energy Sustainability Advisory Committee and Smart Commute Metro North to help teach last summer’s RTD MyRide card recipients the ins and outs of riding RTD thanks to a grant from the Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality (CMAQ) program and the Regional Air Quality Council (RAQC).

One of our favorite memories of our summer is Bike to Work Day 2018! Over 36,000 riders in the Denver Metro Region left their cars at home and commuted by bike on June 27. Commuting Solutions hosted three breakfast stations and said good morning to nearly 1,000 riders!

Shimano Cycling Gear in the Community

One of the most exciting parts of our summer was finding new and fun ways to distribute the nearly $100,000 worth of Shimano product that was donated to us to celebrate our 20th Anniversary. Between Bike to Work Day, Bike Wednesdays and other community events, we’ve been able to distribute over $70,000 of product so far. Keep an eye on our social media for our next giveaway!

What’s Coming Up

This year shows no sign of slowing and Commuting Solutions is excited to announce that for the next three months we’ll be working with the Let’s Go, Colorado campaign to help educate Colorado voters on the Let’s Go, Colorado ballot initiative that proposes a 0.62% tax increase to help fund transportation programs across the state.

If you haven’t caught us at a community event this summer, don’t worry! There are plenty more opportunities to come and talk with us about your commute options and the latest in transportation in our region. Look for us at Superior Chili Fest, Broomfield Days, Westminster Harvest Festival and more in the coming months!

We also have more events coming up with RTD! We’ll be in Lafayette for another How-to Ride event as well as Longmont and Louisville in the coming months. Be sure to come say hi and learn about our great RTD bus service.

Commuting Solutions has also been hard at work, along with cities along the US 36 corridor, to design, fabricate and install branded wayfinding signs to help cyclists, pedestrians and transit users better navigate our region. These signs will be installed in next month.

Stay tuned for an exciting pilot program launch coming this fall exclusively to the US 36 Express Lanes!

 

Going Dockless: The Future of Bike Share

David “DK” Kemp has been putting people on bikes since 1997. Following an illustrative career as a bike shop salesman, DK moved on to conceptualize and implement the Tour de Fat event series with New Belgium Brewing from 2000-2004.  From 2006-2012, DK served as the Bicycle Coordinator for the City of Fort Collins and helped move the community from a silver to platinum level bicycle friendly community.   In 2012, DK moved to Davis, CA to become the city’s first Active Transportation Planner.  DK moved back to Colorado in late 2014 to serve as a Senior Transportation Planner for the City of Boulder where he now specializes in multimodal infrastructure design and programming and was instrumental in bringing dockless bike share to Boulder.   

What is Dockless Bike Share?

Dockless bike share is a start-up bike share system where people can rent bikes without having to check them in or out of an established docking facility, similar to today’s Boulder’s B-Cycle system. Bikes can be rented wherever they are found by using a smartphone app or digital screen located on the bike. After an individual is done riding a bike, they park it at their location and check it out to make the bike available to others.

The advent of dockless bike share technology has recently taken the U.S. by storm and the industry is very quickly evolving and changing each day.  Cities throughout the U.S. have scrambled, and in some cases, even struggled with how to regulate this fast paced industry.

While in theory, the concept of dockless bike share makes sense in order to provide people greater accessibility to bicycles; however, the ability for a bike to be parked in, or moved into, the public right of way without a managed approach presents significant issues in the way of safety for pedestrians and other cyclists.  Some dockless bikes can be parked and left anywhere, and that’s precisely the issue- they can be parked anywhere.

Dockless bike share technology can be separated into two fundamental categories:  “self-locking” and “lock-to.”  Self-locking technology enables the bike to lock only to itself before and after each use.  Lock-to technology incorporates an integrated locking mechanism that enables the bike to be locked to a fixed structure, such as a bike rack.

Bringing Dockless Bike Share to Boulder

In 2017, numerous dockless bike share operators hoping to conduct business in the city approached the City of Boulder.  Following an extensive research process and coordination with the National Association for City Transportation Officials (NACTO), the City of Boulder adopted an ordinance in June 2018 to regulate the industry in Boulder through a licensing program.  The ordinance requires all operators provide “lock-to” technology on their bicycles and the bicycles to be locked to a bike rack before and after each use.  To offset existing public bike parking, the ordinance also requires that one bike rack per bike deployed be provided.

This approach greatly avoids the potential safety issue associated with bikes parked freely in the public right of way while taking advantage of the benefits associated increased accessibility to bike share for community members. As is stands today, some operators are able to adhere to the City of Boulder’s regulations, while others are not.

In July 2018, NACTO released, “Guidelines for the Regulation and Management of Shared Active Transportation.”  This comprehensive guide provides information for agency officials who are exploring the merits and feasibility of dockless bike share in their community: https://nacto.org/home/shared-active-transportation-guidelines/

For more information on the City of Boulder’s program, please visit: https://bouldercolorado.gov/transportation/dockless-bike-share

Or, contact Dave “DK” Kemp, Senior Transportation Planner for the City of Boulder

dk@bouldercolorado.gov

 

 

Transportation Funding Gaining Momentum in Colorado

After the historic passage of Senate Bill 001 during the legislative session this spring, stakeholders from all sectors are hoping voters will keep the transportation momentum moving forward this November.

Tony Milo, Executive Director, Colorado Contractors Association and Jake Martin, Campaign Director, Let’s Go, Colorado shared Coloradoans for Colorado’s vision for sustainable transportation funding during Commuting Solutions’ quarterly Membership Meeting this week.

“Today, we are here to get Colorado moving again and propose a ballot measure that will put real, ongoing funding towards our statewide transportation system,” explained Milo.

What exactly is Let’s Go, Colorado proposing and how could it impact the northwest metro region? We have the inside scoop on their proposed ballot measure.

What is Let’s Go, Colorado?

Let’s Go, Colorado is a ballot initiative to address the funding needs for transportation across the state of Colorado. The ballot initiative is being put forth by a coalition of nearly 30 organizations statewide commonly known as Coloradoans for Colorado.

Let’s Go, Colorado is proposing a 0.62 percent sales tax that would provide money to the State Highway Fund, Local Transportation Priorities Fund (Cities & Counties) and a Multimodal Transportation Fund.

Tell me more about the potential ballot measure…

After an in-depth look at every mechanism available to fund transportation, the coalition determined that a sales tax was the most equitable, single funding source.  The sales tax option will raise enough to address our transportation needs while ensuring that everyone (including tourists) pay the same rates. In the first year, this solution is estimated to raise $767 million in revenue.

Worried about how this sales tax could impact your pocket book? The sales tax would be about six cents on a ten-dollar purchase.

How did we get here?

Colorado has a $9 billion backlog of transportation related projects that desperately need funding but there isn’t any available money in the state budget. This deficit didn’t appear overnight, so how did Colorado get here?

In 1992, Colorado passed a gas tax to help fund transportation projects in the state. 22 cents from every gallon of gas purchased goes towards transportation funding. Despite inflation, a higher cost of gas and growing transportation needs, this tax has not changed in almost 30 years.

Costs have also increased dramatically since 1992. The cost of resurfacing a road has increased by over 120%. The Colorado Department of Transportation can barely keep up with the costs of maintenance, let alone funding new projects.

What next?

The Let’s Go, Colorado ballot initiative has until August 6 to collect 98,492 signatures to get the initiative onto the November ballot.

Currently, Commuting Solutions has taken a position of conditional support of the Let’s Go, Colorado initiative, contingent upon the inclusion and level of funding of projects from our region in the ballot project list. The US 36 Mayors & Commissioners Coalition and Commuting Solutions has written a letter to the Colorado Department of Transportation outlining the projects they would need funded in order to support the ballot initiative.

If you would like learn more the Let’s Go, Colorado (Proposition 110) ballot initiative, click here.

To learn more about the state of transportation in Colorado, go to commutingsolutions.org.