State Highway 119

state highway 119 map bus rapid transit patternsAbout State Highway 119

State Highway 119, locally known as the Diagonal, connects Boulder to Longmont and travels through Gunbarrel and Niwot. Currently there are 45,000 vehicles a day that travel along the corridor. There is a projected 25% increase in traffic by the year 2040. To address growing travel demand and provide improved mobility in the northwest region, RTD, along with the Northwest Mayors & Commissioners Coalition, completed the Northwest Area Mobility Study (NAMS) in 2014. The study determined a prioritized list of mobility improvements for the region. Implementing Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) along SH 119 was identified as a high-priority project.

State Highway 119 currently has 1,500 transit riders a day with a likely increase of 33% with the proposed multimodal improvements such as Bus Rapid Transit and express lane usage.

Feasibility Studies and Results

In 2019, RTD completed studies to determine the feasibility of implementing Bus Rapid Transit along State Highway 119. At the same time, Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) completed a Bikeway Study that resulted in preliminary bikeway concepts. During this process, RTD gathered public input through open houses, online comments and surveys. As a result of these studies, three alternatives were proposed for BRT on the corridor: bus on the outside shoulder, bypass lanes/queue jumps and signal priority, and an inside managed lane.

SH 119 Funding GraphicProject Cost and Funding

The project is estimated to cost $253.3 million. Currently, $93 million in funding has been secured for project elements such as BRT service/branding, station enhancements, stations, Coffman Street busway, Business Access and Transit (BAT) lanes and bus queue jump lanes at State Highway 52.


28th Street Improvements Project

City of Boulder staff are modifying the 28th Street Improvements Project lane design to be a Bus Access Transit lane. In the early 2000s, a Bike-Business-Access Transit lane emerged as the preferred design option through public engagement. However, in keeping with recent best practices identified in the research, staff has decided to modify the design and remove the striping for bicyclists.

Per the State of Colorado laws, bikes can legally still use the lane, but will not be actively encouraged to do so.

This design will provide a low-stress option and continuous facility along the corridor.

Conceptual View of the SH 119 Bikeway

Boulder County SH 119 Bikeway Project

Boulder County is currently in the process of designing a paved-off street multi-use path along SH 119 between Boulder and Longmont. The SH 119 Bikeway project will optimize regional mobility between Boulder and Longmont by providing multimodal bicycle and pedestrian improvements that result in safer, more reliable, more comfortable and more appealing travel options.

The bikeway will be physically separated from the SH 119 roadway, and feature underpasses or protected signal phasing for pedestrians and bicyclists where the bikeway crosses major intersecting roads. The bikeway will connect to the SH 119 Bus Rapid Transit stations, creating redundancy for commuters who commute by bike, transit or a combination of the two.

City of Longmont Coffman Street Busway Project

The Coffman Street Busway project seeks to make Coffman Street, from 1st Avenue to 9th Avenue, a world-class, multimodal corridor to support residents, businesses, visitors, cyclists and pedestrians, commuters, the environment and the city.

Currently, the Coffman Street Busway project is developing design concepts, which will be evaluated against technical performance measurements and the Guiding Principles, which will be developed using community input.

Construction is not planned to start until 2023.

The project will have protected bike lands for safe bicycle travel, transit for less congestion, parking for local businesses and sidewalks and trees for a walkabout and vibrant community.

Rendering of the Proposed SH 119 Corridor

rendering of the state highway 119 improved corridor sectionThe preferred option is to implement BRT using managed lanes. BRT and managed lanes will provide:

  • Highest travel time savings: 37-minute travel time (29 minutes saved in comparison to the BOLT)
  • Best transit service reliability
  • Higher transit ridership
  • Greatest number of travel options and benefits for all users: vehicles, transit, carpool, express tolls and bicyclists while reducing congestion. There are 7,620 – 7,640 people traveling through the corridor per day – a 33% increase compared to the existing corridor
  • Improvements can be phased over time as funding becomes available

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