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‘Take Back the Boulevard’ Moves Forward to Improve Colorado

The initiative hopes for new bike lanes, better crosswalks and a safer pedestrian experience.

About 60 people gathered at the , Tuesday for the third “Take Back the Boulevard” meeting aimed at making the Eagle Rock stretch of Colorado Boulevard more of a main street and less of a highway.

In partnership with the office of TBTB has been working diligently since September 2011 to revitalize Colorado Boulevard, making it a more user-friendly area for pedestrians, bicyclists and drivers alike.

In the past two meetings, TBTB has listened to residents and drawn out a plan based on their requests. Issues discussed ranged from adding more parallel parking and bike lanes to widening the curbs and introducing a crosswalk near Trader Joe’s.

President and TBTB Chair Bob Gotham kicked off the meeting by thanking all the individuals who have been dedicated to the project, especially the residents who came out in support and to voice their ideas and opinions.

“I want to thank the Eagle Rock residents who moved away their dinner tables and are here tonight to advocate for our community,” Gotham said. “I would like to applaud the people who are on this team and applaud each other.”

Huizar spoke next about what the initiative means to the community. “We’ve got to make our streets more pedestrian friendly—it builds communities, it’s healthier if people are walking, it supports our local business,” he said. “This effort is one that I whole-heartedly support, and I am anxious to see some of the results.”

TBTB Steering Committee Member Jeff Jacobberger presented a Power Point presentation outlining the goals of the community and the progress so far. The goals include:

  • Provide safety on the boulevard for all ages and various modes of transportation (pedestrians, bikes, buses, automobiles, etc.)
  • Stimulate economic growth through greater pedestrian activity and reduced automobile speeds.
  • Increase community health through reducing automobile emission levels and encourage alternative forms of transportation.
  • Utilize sustainable approaches to storm water management and landscaping.
  • Strengthen and nurture the relationships between businesses and residents along Colorado Boulevard.
  • Recognize the importance of existing historic resources along the boulevard as valuable contributors to the community’s character.

“Our goal is an action plan that will get results,” Jacobberger told the audience. “We are in a funding-limited environment so we really want to focus on what things cost and what funding sources are available.” For example, Jacobberger pointed out that that using paint for certain projects such as crosswalks is less expensive than moving curbs.

Here are some of the main topics discussed during the meeting:

• Reduce from three to two the number of traffic lanes along the stretch of Colorado from Townsend to Eagle Rock Plaza.

• Introduce bumpered bike lanes and more parallel parking. Bike lanes can’t be implemented, however, until an Environmental Impact Report is complete, the audience was told. Some seemed divided over the idea because bike lanes may not necessarily increase cyclists on Colorado; others in the audience agreed that the measure would increase cyclists, especially among youth.

• Adding more street lights, benches, trees and better signage in certain areas, based on examples of improvements that have worked in other cities, including San Francisco and Old Town Pasadena.

The TBTB steering committee is working with the Eagle Rock Chamber of Commerce on parking issues, and a meeting with the Chamber is scheduled on June 26.

Jacobberger noted that some residents are worried about how traffic will affect the community if some of the proposed TBTB changes, such as reduced traffic lanes, are implemented.

Other issues of concern revolved around the safety of bicyclists and pedestrians; initiatives by store owners to keep sidewalks clean; and whether Eagle Rock can expect increased police presence if it becomes more of a walking community.

While TBTB has taken all community ideas into consideration, implementation depends on cost and feasibility, Jacobberger said, adding that the steering committee is still negotiating with possible funding sources for some of the proposed improvements.

A final proposal to the community will be presented during a public meeting within a few months. Meanwhile, visit the Take Back the Boulevard website for updates.

Carl Matthes June 13, 2012 at 06:29 PM
Hi Jennifer...I so appreciate hearing from an actual business owner on Colorado...you and your husband have helped with the wonderful turn-around in Eagle Rock. As a resident a couple blocks north of Colorado, many of us are concerned with Hill Drive turning into more of a speed-way than it is now. What will happen with the Colorado traffic once it is reduced by two lanes? Colorado is an important artery, 134 freeway or not. Of an immediate concern, must be pedestrians crossing Colorado. Surely, the city could lengthen the changing of the signals on Colorado to allow pedestrians to cross safely. And that could be done easily? Have you talked with the City? You don't mention parking. I would imagine that is a problem? Congrats on your success.
Carl Matthes June 13, 2012 at 06:33 PM
Dear Robert...This is very encouraging to learn of your personal participation in TBTB. I look forward to learning more.
EagleRockMom August 16, 2012 at 01:26 AM
@Carl I am also concerned about Hill Drive becoming the alternate race way. Any time traffic is affected on Colorado Boulevard, motorists take to Hill Drive. If permanent changes are made to the amount of driving lanes on the boulevard I think it will directly impact this crown jewel of Eagle Rock.
Tim Tritch September 22, 2012 at 07:05 PM
There is just something about the name "Take Back the Bl." I know this is just symantics, but who are "WE" taking it back from? And all this talk abuout bicycles, honestly, how many of us are going to ride our bikes to the resturaunt, the grocery store, or dare i say, the hardware store. Cycling is a recreation for most. Regarding the safety of bike lanes, is there any statistics about how many cyclists have been in accidents along Colorado and ER Bl. Is it really a safety issue? Biking is great, dont get me wrong, but trying to promote biking as a regular alternative is kind of like trying to promote soccer as a mafor sport. Sure soccer is great, and the most popular sport in the rest of the world, and very popular here, but it will never compete with football or baseball. Football and baseball are the cars,, soccer is the bicycle. I dont think we will ever seee Monday Night Soccer, nor do I think we will ever see resturaunt parking lots filled with bikes. But if you are going to ride your bike, please obey the traffic laws, and remember, its not the bike that goes t the hospital, its the rider.
rebecca niederlander September 26, 2012 at 04:27 PM
http://eaglerock.patch.com/articles/car-overturns-on-colorado-boulevard#photo-11492454

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