Buchtel Blvd./Pkwy. Coalition (BBC) Meeting Notes

Meeting was April 18, 2012 and notes were submitted by Diana Helper

The following are additional updates post meeting:

1. The City has no additional funds for an educational garden-walk so it’s up to UP to make a plan, get it OK’d by DPR, fund it, plant and maintain it. They don’t want wildflowers scattered there unless they OK the seeds. If we want to do this, we will need to form a committee.  If interested, email parks@upcc.us.

2. DPR likes idea of orange fencing to protect prairie from folks parking on it at Presidential Debate time in Oct…they’ll tell DU to do this, as it is DU’s responsibility to protect public property.

3. City will not erect NO MOTORIZED Vehicles on Trail sign unless it gets worse. Call 311  if you see this.

4. No qualms about letting City put concrete right along designated Parkway at S. Columbine –“easier to maintain” or not letting us know it wouldn’t be the right treatment of grass there as promised.

5. The SUNDIAL is back in Buchtel Centennial Park thanks to BILL BERG who made and installed it!

NOTES From the Buchtel Blvd./Pkwy. Coalition (BBC) meeting April 18, 2012

The Buchtel Boulevard/Parkway Coalition (BBC) met at 7 p.m. April 18 at the Heritage Club, 2020 S. Monroe Street. Present were Chmn. Mary Myers, Katie and Steve Fisher, Shirley and Bill Berg, Diana Helper, Ray Ehrenstein, James Sample, University Park Community Council Transportation Chmn. Kurt Brandau, and Ryan McCann from Transportation Solutions.

SHARROWS: Definition, discussion of new logo to be used for all routes designated for mixed use by cars and bikes. Need for logos on Steele Street north & St. Paul Street south of I-25. Ryan distributed info on Denver Moves and its 3-phase plans for adding bikeways and funding.

SIDEWALKS: Considerable discussion of bikes on sidewalks, which is illegal but at times is the safer place for the biker (children, older folks, places where traffic is very heavy and/or street narrow, etc.). Ryan said that there is very little staff to monitor this and give citations, however. Discussion of recent DU case, biker hit and injured while riding on sidewalk, fined. Problem of rules on campus (can use walks) vs. off-campus, suddenly you can’t bike on walks.  There is a NEED for education and information about Rules, easily accessible to all who bicycle.

BIKE-Share: Ryan reported that one center has been moved from DU to the parking lot at South High School. The grant process for the B-Cycle project of placing rental centers in Denver parks has been delayed.

SIGNAGE: Suggestion of some discreet signage indicating on Buchtel Blvd. (and elsewhere) route to B-Station, to a business center, etc. Need on Buchtel Trail for “no motorized vehicles” sign. When DU hosts Pres. Debate in Oct. much additional protection of the Prairie will be needed so people do not park on it.

PEDESTRIAN SAFETY: Continuing danger trying to cross Buchtel Blvd., and particular danger at the Buchtel/S. Univ. intersection. Jeff Bemelen of DU has been asked to work with the city to restore the right-turn-only lane on EB Buchtel. This would alleviate traffic back-ups and merging problems. Diana read email from Kate Aiken about this area. The city and DU have ruled out a bridge at that intersection, so other safety measures need to be developed.

LANDSCAPE needs at the NE Corner of that intersection also were cited again. Diana reported on the MAINTENANCE schedule for the Prairie and Parkway along Buchtel in UP. Katie Fisher said there is need for re-seeding and care West of S. University along Buchtel, as well as in the Prairie area. All were reminded that the trees along the north side of Buchtel in UP are dependent upon water from the street during rains, hence please never put curb there. Nicole Stahly of the Parks Dept. is meeting with a team next week to answer Buchtel concerns.

CONTINUITY: The route west of S. Univ. also still needs much better bikeway continuity. Diana said there are already some cases where bikes are allowed to go against the direction of one-way streets, and the S. Downing-to-S. Logan part of Buchtel needs this allowance. If the city really wants people to bike seriously it needs to make continuous routes. The route beyond S. Logan through the Gates redevelopment site to Platte Greenway/Vanderbilt Park is still important to the plans of whomever ultimately builds there. Ray and Jim, who live west of the Platte, expressed interest in connections to that area, a pedestrian/bike bridge across the Platte at some point to avoid having to negotiate the dangerous W. Evans highway bridge. Also the Broadway/Evans intersection is dangerous for pedestrians and bikes. East of S. Colorado Blvd. construction of the ped/bike bridge over I-25 is scheduled to begin in 2013.

SNOW plowing and shoveling: The city’s priority is plowing streets all the way to the curbs for vehicle traffic, even though this often throws snow and ice on shoveled sidewalks. We suggest a more balanced method to ensure that sidewalks are safe routes for pedestrians and wheelchairs.

Ryan said that the next Transportation Solutions meeting will be May 3.

The next BBC Meeting will be July 18.

–Diana Helper, BBC member