Rachel Hultin

Colorado Pedals Project Year 1: CDOT Region 4

In Sept 2015, Governor Hickenlooper announced the Colorado Pedals Project. The goal? To make Colorado the #1 Bike State by 2020. This is part 2 of a 6-part series on projects we’re tracking and supporting that further the Pedals Project.

 

It’s bold. It’s ambitious. It is absolutely achievable but not without the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) locking its proverbial jaws around every opportunity to include and expand investments in active transportation. With a $1.3 billion annual budget, CDOT has the single biggest impact on creating safe options for people to ride a bike. They accomplish this by incorporating bike facilities into resurfacing projects or by adding stand-alone, multi-use trails as part of a major corridor reconstruction or by asking communities where they have the greatest need to improve safe crossings and access for their most vulnerable road users.

Photo courtesy of CDOT

CDOT is a massive and complicated agency with complex funding and even more complex restrictions attached to those funds. Even so, CDOT is doing good work related to bicycling across the state. We have been working closely with both headquarters and all five CDOT regions to represent your interests and further advance the goals of the Colorado Pedals Project. As we enter the second year of the Pedals Project, we thought it would be a good time to recognize current successes and look to even bigger ones on the horizon.

This is the second of six blog posts highlighting each CDOT region and headquarters to inform folks about exciting projects happening in their hometowns and backyards. You can read the Region 5 blog post here.

Quick facts about CDOT Region 4

  • It is roughly the Northeast quadrant of the state and includes Fort Collins, Greeley, Loveland and Longmont, 4 of the fastest growing cities in the nation.
  • Includes 13.5 of Colorado’s 64 counties. (Broomfield County is split between Regions 1 and 4, but mostly in 1) and 18.5 percent of state’s population.
  • Has 6,328 state highway lanes miles, or about 28 percent of the total state highway lane miles in Colorado.
  • Is home to all or part of two Colorado the Beautiful’s “16 in 16” priority trails including significant portions of the Colorado Front Range Trail and the Eldo-Walker Trail Connection.
  • Includes the North Front Range Metropolitan Planning Organization [NFRMPO] which holds a monthly NoCo Bike/Ped Collaborative Meeting and will host its biennial Bike and Walk Conference again in 2017.
  • Region 4 headquarters is located in Greeley. Johnny Olson is the Regional Transportation Director and Mark Connelly is the designated Region 4 Bike/Ped Specialist.
  • The 2013 flood damage was almost entirely in Region 4 which is why flood recovery HQ is located in the region and many of Region 4 projects include flood recovery elements.
  • Region 4 received a $15M Federal TIGER grant in 2016 for widening I-25. A portion of the TIGER funds will be used to elevate I-25 at the Poudre River, connecting the trail east/west between Fort Collins, Greeley and Windsor.

 

Region 4 Transportation Director, Johnny Olson, said of his region’s successes: “CDOT, as a whole, and Region 4, specifically, are dedicated to all modes of transportation. While the focus is often on projects like I-25 and US 34, we are always looking for ways to improve bike and pedestrian safety and mobility on all our projects.” One of the key focus areas for 2017 is “finishing the permanent repairs to Colorado roads from the 2013 floods, including using a recently awarded $252M grant and finish work on US 34.”

 

Notable Region 4 projects with bike/ped improvements in the past 12 months

1.) SH 119 reconstruction: Independence Rd to 28th Street (Boulder)

Photo courtesy of CDOT

This Complete Streets corridor project includes new multi-modal amenities such as a separated bikeway, off-street multi-use path, bicycle parking and storage, and transit stop improvements. The project creates a new “gateway” in and out of Boulder from points north and east, and is on schedule to complete by end of 2016. Don’t miss the completion celebration on January 23, 2017!

2.) SH 119 & Hover (Longmont)

Photo courtesy of CDOT

This project creates a grade-separated, multi-modal crossing of the heavily traveled Diagonal Highway corridor and a safer alternative crossing to the busy Hover Street-Diagonal Highway intersection. Elements include a new multi-use underpass and sidewalk connections under SH-119; a walkway with access to transit stops; and a mid-block crossing of Hover Street south of SH-119 which completes a gap between the multi-use trail along Hover with a similar trail on SH-119. The project should wrap up late spring 2017.

3.) Baseline Underpass Project (Boulder)

Photo courtesy of CDOT

This local agency project is building a grade-separated pedestrian and bicycle underpass crossing the very busy Baseline Road in Boulder between Broadway and US36. This project will include supporting connections to sidewalks, multi-use trails and bike lanes along Baseline Road. Construction should be complete early summer 2017.

4.) Phase 2 of US36 Bikeway

Image courtesy of US36 Commuting Solutions.

In March 2016, the second phase of the US 36 Bikeway opened, completing the 18-mile corridor.

2016 Region 4 funding awarded from state agencies and statewide partners

Even more good things are happening at the local level thanks to federal “pass-through” funding.

2016 Safe Routes to School

Safe Routes to School is a program intended to improve the safety of walking and bicycling routes for children, specifically around schools.

  • 19th Street multi-modal improvements, Boulder
    $350,000 infrastructure grant + $127,758 local matching funds

Transportation Alternatives Program (awarded in 2016 for 2018-2020)

Transportation Alternatives is a federally-funded program that provides grants for projects defined as transportation alternatives.

  • US 287 Gap Project, Larimer County
    $648,000  TAP Grant + $162,000 local matching funds
  • South Boulder Road multi-modal improvements
    $1,200,000 TAP Grant + $410,000 local matching funds
  • Poudre River Trail, Weld County
    $358,312 TAP Grant + 89,578 local matching funds
  • Namaqua Ave Trail Underpass, City of Loveland
    $600,000 TAP Grant + 833,000 local matching funds
  • Centennial Trail, City of Kersey
    $775,520 TAP Grant + $193,880 local matching funds
  • Pedestrian Improvements @ West Alice and Inez Blvd, City of Milliken
    $437,675 TAP Grant + $109,419 local matching funds
  • Hugo Roundhouse, Lincoln County
    $275,000 TAP Grant + $98,687 local matching funds
  • 19th Street, City of Boulder
    $327,200 TAP Grant + $81,800 local matching funds
  • East Chestnut Trail, City of Sterling
    $428,982 TAP Grant + $425,735 local matching funds
  • Power Trail, City of Fort Collins
    $800,000 TAP Grant + $1,200,000 local matching funds
  • Colorado Parks and Wildlife Non-Motorized Grants
  • Colorado Front Range Trail (a 16 in 16 project), Larimer County
    $350,000 grant
Rachel Hultin

About the Author: Rachel Hultin

Rachel works with agencies, organizations and communities to ensure Colorado becomes the best state in the nation for riding bikes. Her passion for all forms of active transportation fuels opportunities for successful collaboration. When not talking shop, Rachel enjoys hunting for street art with her family and volunteering in her community.

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