Today, as I biked to campus, I thought of how great it is that I can be liberated from the use of my car here in Boulder. Coming from Colorado Springs, a city surrounded by several suburban sprawls and inundated with parking lots and highways, I required a car to get to the grocery store, to school, to my friend’s houses, to restaurants, to… pretty much anywhere. In Boulder, however, this is not the case. In fact, I have made a personal goal of only filling up my tank once a month here. With all the different varieties of transportation offered, it hasn’t been an issue.
First, I ride my bike almost everywhere. Many of the streets in Boulder have bike lanes on the side, and because biking is so popular in Boulder, drivers are well aware of their presence. Multiple bike paths wind in and out of the main parts of town, away from the streets, so that you can access all of Boulder on your cruiser. Working on Pearl Street, I often find that it’s actually quicker to ride my bike to work than to drive; I don’t have to find a parking spot—or pay for one—and I can get there in about the same amount of time as driving because I avoid red lights! Biking to classes is the most convenient way for me to get to class, because I can ride right up to campus and park my bike on one of the numerous bike racks. I even figured out a great system for biking to the grocery store so that I don’t even have to drive!
Sometimes, though, when the wind howls and the sky dumps feet of snow on our little town, the weather ins't exactly conducive to biking. In these cases, I rely on the RTD Bus system. Bus passes are included in student fees, so simply by flashing your bus pass you have access to all RTD routes. These routes include the popular Hop, which goes from campus to the Hill to Pearl Street to 29th street mall, and the Skip, which runs all along Broadway, one of the main streets in Boulder. You can easily ride the BX to Denver, which is about a 30 minute bus ride and drops you off in the heart of downtown. The BX is great to take to Rockies games and Downtown Denver festivals, because parking there is a nightmare! If you ever need to get to the airport, a bus runs twice an hour that can get you to DIA in about an hour and fifteen minutes. For anyone interested in skiing, busses make the trek up to the mountains every weekend!
Finally, as a student, it’s great that you can also walk almost anywhere you’d need to go. There aren’t large expanses between places, so walking to class and then to lunch with friends isn’t a huge feat. As a freshman living on campus, I walked almost everywhere I needed to go, since everything I ever needed I could access in about a mile radius.
So, if you’re not planning on bringing a car up to school, don’t stress! You’ll have plenty of options for getting around the beautiful town of Boulder.