Northwest Area Mobility Study FAQ

Northwest Area Mobility Study MapWhat is the Northwest Area Mobility Study?

The Northwest Area Mobility Study (NAMS) was a 13-month long planning effort led by the Regional Transportation District (RTD) that developed a prioritized list of transit mobility improvements for the northwest metro region.

The study was a collaborative effort that addresses significant cost increases and delays associated with building and operating the 41-mile Northwest Rail commuter rail line from Longmont to Denver.

The study concluded with elected officials, the Regional Transportation District (RTD), Colorado Department of Transportation, and 13 area jurisdictions (City of Arvada, City of Boulder, Boulder County, City and County of Broomfield, City of Lafayette, City of Longmont, City of Louisville, Town of Superior and the City of Westminster) University of Colorado-Boulder and agencies reaching consensus on transit priorities in the region.

What areas does the Northwest Area Mobility Study (NAMS) include?

The study concentrated on the northwest metro region including Longmont, Boulder, Lafayette, Louisville, Superior, Broomfield, Thornton, Westminster and Denver.

What priorities does the Northwest Area Mobility Study (NAMS) include?

  • Phased construction of Northwest Rail: The study evaluated operational/service options and construction phasing options along the Northwest Rail line from Westminster to go through Boulder and Longmont.
  • Feasibility of Extending North Metro Line to Longmont: As an alternative to providing commuter rail service to Longmont on the Northwest Rail through Boulder, the study evaluated the feasibility of providing commuter rail service to Longmont along various alignments by extending the North Metro Line.
  • US 36 Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) Commitments: The study determined the remaining final commitments for the FasTracks BRT funding and scope for the US 36 corridor and complete corresponding commitments.
  • B Line (Formerly known as Northwest Rail): Annually evaluate strategies to accelerate the implementation of the B Line while recognizing it is a long-term project. Evaluate the feasibility and cost of constructing the line in segments.
  • US 36 to Denver Reverse Commute: Work with CDOT to evaluate the reverse commute traffic between Denver Union Station and US 36. For the I-25 downtown express lane, evaluate alternatives to ease reverse commute traffic.
  • Additional arterial BRT: Consider implementing additional arterial BRT/enhanced bus corridors.

What are some of the US 36 Bus Rapid Transit Commitments?

US 36 BRT was included as part of the ballot initiative that funded the original FasTracks plan, which stated RTD would provide a set financial commitment to the US 36 project. This commitment assumed to provide stations and park-n-rides along the corridor and a proportional share of the cost to provide bus/high-occupancy vehicle lanes.

BRT has been considered an alternative for rapid transit service on US 36 since the completion of US 36 Major Investment Study in 2001.

NAMS determined the remaining final commitments for the US 36 BRT service. The US 36 BRT FasTracks program included two implementation phases.

The first phase, completed in May 2010, included the first FasTracks project to reach 100% completion.

  • It consisted of three separate projects along US 36, designed to improve park-n-Ride access as well as travel-time savings between Boulder and Denver.
  • Improvements included pedestrian bridges and bus stops for McCaslin Boulevard, Church Ranch Boulevard and Broomfield stations.

The second phase included building an express lane in each direction to accommodate HOV, Bus Rapid Transit and tolled Single Occupancy Vehicles (SOV).

What were some of the corridors listed in the Northwest Area Mobility Study (NAMS)?

The corridors listed include:

  • SH 119: The Diagonal Highway corridor project connects Boulder to Longmont and travels through Niwot and Gunbarrel. There are an estimated 45,000 vehicles that travel the corridor daily, and it is projected there will be a 25% increase by 2040.
  • US 287: The corridor between Longmont and Broomfield. This project is currently undergoing a re-envisioning process which includes a Bus Rapid Transit implementation to address the growing congestion and travel demand in the area.
  • Colorado 7: The corridor is between Brighton and Boulder. By 2040, there is projected to be more than 56,000 new residents and 38,000 new jobs along the corridor. This will lead to a 37% increase in traffic along an already congested corridor.
  • Additional Arterial BRT: The plan considered implementing additional arterial BRT/enhanced bus corridors such as 120th Avenue, Colorado 42/95th Street and South Boulder Road.

What are some resources I can read about the Northwest Area Mobility Study?