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Monday was a typical day at the corner of Broadway and Baseline Road in Boulder: drivers zoomed through yellow lights, pedestrians jogged across the crosswalk –despite the blinking red hand — and bicyclists wove in and out of pedestrians.

The addition of a traffic light on Baseline Road just east of Broadway last fall has made one of the busiest traffic areas in Boulder safer, said Kurt Weiler, traffic commander for the Boulder Police Department.

The intersection, which was the most dangerous in Boulder last year, is now moderate — with four accidents reported this year, compared to 12 at this time last year, he said.

Despite the improvement, Weiler said the intersection is more chaotic this time of year upon the return of University of Colorado students.

“I would equate it to the first snow fall,” Weiler said. “People are still getting used to driving on the snow again and there are more accidents during the first snow storm than when they’ve gotten used to it.

“This time of year is similar — with a large number of people coming to town, making it more congested.”

About three pedestrians and two bicyclists came within inches of being hit by a driver. As the second week of classes began on Monday, an array of near-misses between pedestrians and bikes continued throughout the day.

Julie Robillard, of Nederland, met her daughter, CU freshman Willow Robillard, for lunch Monday near the intersection.

“This has always been a busy intersection,” Julie Robillard said. “I hate trying to turn left into this shopping center from Baseline. We don’t have an arrow so there’s a lot to watch out for.”

CU sophomore Kimberly Han stepped off the sidewalk on to Baseline Road around lunchtime with 22 seconds to cross. She reached the opposite sidewalk, in front of Starbucks, with four seconds to spare.

“I cross here every day,” Han said. “I live over here so I have to come through here for class.”

Han said she generally feels safe crossing the street with about 30 seconds to get from one side to the other.

Han said she thinks busy intersections can be overwhelming anywhere, but Boulderites are more aware of pedestrians since there are so many people on foot around town.

“I’m from Denver and it’s worse there,” Han said. “As a pedestrian I feel pretty safe in Boulder.”

Weiler said although the intersection is not the busiest for vehicles in town (citing intersection at 28th Street and Arapahoe Avenue), it is one of the higher pedestrian and bicycle areas.

“They are three lanes of traffic each way, that’s unusual in Boulder,” Weiler said. “Most crosswalks only cross double lanes, so giving pedestrians enough time to pass is important.”

CU sophomore Charlotte Crawford said she bikes across the intersection a few times a week and it’s not the vehicles that she’s worried about.

“The cars always seem to stop,” Crawford said. “There are so many people crossing that it gets really packed and it’s hard to weave in and out of people.”

The city plans to design a $5.4 million underpass project for the intersection next year. Construction is not expected to begin for at least a few more years.