Boulder to reduce vehicle lanes, expand bicycle lanes on three major streets

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BOULDER, Colo. -- The Boulder City Council voted 7-2 on Monday night to reduce traffic lanes and widen bicycle lanes on three major streets in the city.

Nearly 100 people signed up to speak at the special meeting of the Boulder City Council about the "Living Labs" proposal. The public comments went past 10:30 p.m. with people from both sides giving their two cents.

Speaking to council members, some business owners said main corridors are for cars and reducing traffic lanes for bike lanes would lead to congestion and negatively effect business.

Many bike commuters spoke, with one saying no one else should lose their life riding on American streets and passing this proposal would be a step in the right direction.

The council voted to widen the bike lanes on Folsom Street, Iris Avenue and 63rd Street. It will not be implemented for now on 55th Street.

The plan would reduce car traffic lanes from two to one in each direction on the streets, making room for wider bike lanes with protective buffers.

"I think it makes it accessible for many more people," bike commuter Eric Budd said.

Budd also said the project would make the streets safer and encourage more people to go green.

"Right now, these streets either do not have a bike lane or the lane is like 4 feet," he said.

Frank Friedwald lives near one of the streets named in the proposal. He believes the plan would increase congestion and send drivers to side streets.

"The bikers, which are mostly kids, will have cars driving up and down at high speeds trying to go east and west and I think it will become more dangerous," he said.

The goal is to install Living Labs this summer and have a 12- to 18-month feedback period.

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