IN THE SPOTLIGHT
Safety calls: CU-Boulder and the city answer
CU-Boulder is taking advantage of the summer months to help create a safer campus. In order to improve the safety of pedestrians and bicyclists on campus, a section of Regent Drive will be closed from Saturday, May 9 through Saturday, Aug. 15 while Regent Crossing, a pedestrian and bicycle underpass, is completed.
CU statistics show that between 2000 and mid-2004, there were 12 verified and reported injury-related accidents between pedestrians and vehicles or bikes on the crosswalk between Fiske Planetarium and the Leeds School of Business. City of Boulder statistics show that approximately 50,000 vehicles per day turn east onto Colorado Avenue, with the vast majority turning onto Regent Drive. That amount of traffic, mixed with nearly 2,000 pedestrians who cross Regent multiple times a day, makes for an extremely tricky intersection.
“Those who experience this crossing on a daily basis know that this is a very problematic intersection,” said Vice Chancellor for Administration Frank Bruno. “The time has arrived, along with the funding, to create a permanent solution and provide a safer environment for all.”
According to statistics from the city of Boulder, drivers exiting Regent Drive to the north onto Colorado Avenue experience average delays of three to four minutes during evening peak hours, which is considered near gridlock. Both the city and CU-Boulder recognized the safety and traffic issues surrounding this intersection and decided to jointly apply for federal funding.
“This important project will help improve traffic flow for all modes in a congested area of the city,” said Mike Gardner-Sweeney, city of Boulder acting director of Public Works for Transportation. “The city helped secure federal funding for these improvements and is happy to see them come to fruition.”
From Saturday, May 9 through Saturday, Aug.15, Regent Drive will be closed between Kittredge Loop Drive and the Leeds School of Business parking lot. Drivers will be able to access Kittredge Loop Drive from the west and the Leeds School of Business parking lot from the east.
The primary function of the Regent Crossing is to ensure a smooth flow of traffic and a safe path through campus for pedestrians and bicyclists. Regent Drive will be elevated over the intersection at Fiske Planetarium, and a 24-foot-wide pedestrian underpass will be built at grade to ferry pedestrians and bicycles safely across the street. The underpass will connect the plaza at Fiske and the new plaza at the Center for Community to be built on the north side of Regent Drive.
This $3.4 million project is the result of collaboration between CU-Boulder, the city of Boulder, the U.S. Department of Transportation, the Denver Regional Council of Governments, and Colorado Department of Transportation. The crossing will be funded by a $2.694 million Federal TIP Grant and through campus cash funds.
More information about Regent Crossing is available on the Facilities Management planning, design and construction website.
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