BOULDER, Colo. — New physical barriers separating bike from vehicle lanes in Boulder have been installed along a busy stretch of roadway in what the city described as the first of its kind to be implemented in the United States.
The tall concrete curbs installed along a protected bike lane on Baseline Road between 30th Street and Foothills Parkway provide a physical barrier between vehicle and bicycle traffic.
The tall curbs replaced stripped barriers and were decorated by local artist Talia Swartz Parsell, the city announced.
The transformation is part of phase one of Boulder’s Baseline Road Transportation Safety Project which aims to enhance safety protections for pedestrians, cyclists and motorists.
Phase one of the project has moved forward with city funding and Boulder expects to expand safety enhancements along busy Baseline Road with a second phase of improvements in 2024 with federal funding.
The $3.2 million in additional federal funding would further enhance safety from 30th street to Foothills Parkway with more bike lane protection, upgraded pedestrian crossings and floating bus islands, the city said.
“The designs are vibrant, abstract paintings that reflect Colorado’s mountainous landscape along with local native flower and butterfly species,” artist Talia Swartz Parsell said in the news release. “Each of the curb sections transitions from morning to night, with the color and light of each painting reflecting this change. My hope was to bring more color, vibrancy and nature back to this concrete corridor and hopefully beautify people’s commute.”
Boulder is implementing the tall concrete curbs based upon similar designs in Toronto.
Along with the new curbs, the project will enhance other bike lanes with flexible posts, striped buffers and green bike lane markings.
Baseline Road in Boulder is one of the city’s most-traveled roadways and has a higher number of injury crashes when compared to other streets, the city said.
As Boulder moves into phase two of the project it is seeking input from the community on potential designs.