Boulder Transportation Connections highlight the latest transportation topics
March 15, 2023
The Boulder Transportation Connections (BTC) group within the Boulder Chamber of Commerce held its quarterly luncheon on March 7 at its offices in Boulder.
Niwot resident Elaine Erb, BTC Sustainable Transportation Planner, welcomed a larger turnout of local transportation professionals from community organizations, advocacy groups and businesses.
Amanda Mansfield, BTC Program Consultant, described recent BTC accomplishments which include the launch of the Commuter Connection program using a grant from the City of Boulder, Boulder County and the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT). This equity-focused commuter program will provide free transit passes, free B-Cycle rental bikes and free guaranteed rides home for low income, alternative shift, essential workers.
Dr. Jessica Villena-Sanchez, Boulder County Mobility for All Bilingual Planner, presented an overview of the Mobility for All (M4A) program. The goal of M4A is to promote accessible, affordable and equitable multimodal transportation options for everyone. "Housing and transportation should not exceed 45% of income," Villena-Sanchez said. A fundamental goal of M4A is to raise awareness that transportation is a basic social, economic, and health need.
Villena-Sanchez described the M4A's four areas of focus: obtaining affordable transportation options, teaching how to use transportation technology, facilitating collaboration with other transportation organizations and developing policy.
M4A's technology training workshops focus on helping Boulder County residents obtain housing through the Boulder County Housing Authority (BCHA). Collaboration is facilitated through the Mobility and Access Coalition (MAC). Boulder County established MAC in 2012 and it continues to meet monthly to help coordinate the work of local transportation organizations.
The Board of County Commissioners recently adopted the Mobility & Access for All Ages & Abilities (MAAAA), a guide for Boulder County's multi-modal transportation policy, which was developed by M4A in collaboration with many local organizations, stakeholders and the public.
Rachel Hultin, Sustainable Transportation Director for Bicycle Colorado, presented their work and accomplishments. Bicycle Colorado is an advocacy group that has been in operation for 30 years. The organization works collaboratively to shift funding for car-focused systems to mobility for all, including walking, biking and transit. Hultin defined transportation equity as, "freedom to safely access their destination in a timely manner."
In any community about 30% of people don't drive a car. Bikes and ebikes are very affordable means of transportation. "The cost of owning and operating an ebike for three years is the same cost as owning and operating a car for four months," Hultin said. Bicycle Colorado advocates for ebike charging stations. "Ebikes have range anxiety, too," Hultin noted.
Bicycle Colorado will launch a program in May called Safe Driving. It is a free one-hour online course for employers to provide to their employees who drive company vehicles. It teaches drivers to be aware and courteous to multiple road users, including cyclists.
More information about Boulder Transportation Connections can be found at their website at bouldertc.org.