If You Go

What: Association of Pedestrian and Bicycle Professionals development seminar

When: Sept. 9-12

Where: Millenium Harvest House Hotel, various locations in Boulder County

Info:

http://apbppds.org/

 

 

City of Boulder and Boulder County officials will get to show off the area's many bike and pedestrian-friendly features to hundreds of national transportation officials at the Association of Pedestrian and Bicycle Professionals development seminar in Boulder next week.

The conference, titled "Dollars and Sense: Economic, Health and Social Benefits of Walking and Bicycling," brings together transportation planners, engineers, landscape architects and other officials from around the country and Canada to discuss active transportation — cycling, walking and public transit — ideas and issues.

Association of Pedestrian and Bicycle Professionals executive director Kit Keller said the organization selected Boulder to host the biennial conference this year because of its many programs designed to promote bicycling, walking and public transit.

Keller pointed to Boulder's bike-share program B-Cycle, the Safe Routes to School program and collaboration with other transportation departments along the U.S. 36 corridor.


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"It is a living laboratory for liveable, walkable, bicycling-friendly communities," Keller said. "Many cities are today where Boulder was 20 years ago, so there's a lot that we can learn from Boulder."

The City of Boulder GO Boulder senior planner Marni Ratzel and Boulder County bicycle planner Brian Graham collaborated to bring the conference to the Front Range.

"It was a great opportunity for us to have professionals come and take a look at our community and learn from us, and it also offers us the opportunity to learn from experts with a fresh eye and give us suggestions," Ratzel said.

Jordan Jimenez rides his bike through a green zone along Folsom Street at the Canyon Boulevard intersection. Cars turning right in Boulder must yield to
Jordan Jimenez rides his bike through a green zone along Folsom Street at the Canyon Boulevard intersection. Cars turning right in Boulder must yield to bikes in green zones in intersections. (CLIFF GRASSMICK / Colorado Daily)

The conference will center on the economics of transportation decisions, Keller said.

For example, when roads are congested with cars, it can be hard to ship goods in and out of town, which hurts the local economy, Keller said.

"For every action there is an equivalent reaction, and that's true in transportation," she said.

Ratzel and Graham will shepherd participants around the city and county on various mobile tours. They'll take conference-goers to Valmont Bike Park, the Pearl Street Mall, the Boulder Creek Path and to other areas around the county.

Another of the mobile tours will showcase a new city program called Boulder Walks, which takes city officials and residents on "walk audits" together, Ratzel said.

"We take community members out for a walk with the intent of being mindful about the walk environment and then talk about what makes a particular area walkable or maybe what would make it more walkable," Ratzel said.

Ratzel and other GO Boulder staffers will present Boulder's Transportation Master Plan during the conference. Graham will host a session about the county's new bicycle counting program, which allows officials to count bikes automobiles at the same time.

Other sessions include how to make cycling and walking easier during the colder months, where to find funding for bicycling and walking improvements and how people make transportation decisions.

"(Hosting the conference) really raises Colorado's status as a bicycle-friendly place," Graham said. "Being able to bring experts here so that our local folks can learn and take things back to their community, but also to show off why Colorado is one of the best states for bicycling."

Contact Sarah Kuta at 303-473-1106 or kuta@coloradodaily.com