Walking is the primary mode of travel and is an essential component of Boulder multimodal transportation system. Whether one is walking from a parked car or bike to a business, or from a bus stop to home, the pedestrian portion helps determine the enjoyment, safety and convenience of that trip. Walking provides a means for entertainment, exercise, leisure and transportation. An effective pedestrian environment facilitates all types of users and all reasons for walking.
Walkable Cities are Livable Cities
Designated as a Gold-level Walk Friendly Community, Boulder has a national reputation as a pedestrian-friendly community. The pedestrian-only Pearl Street Mall and extensive network of multi-use paths and hiking trails are Boulder icons that attract people from all over the country and world. The City of Boulder also supports a wide range of other initiatives to encourage and support walking throughout the community.
Boulder Walks Program
Part of the Transportation Master Plan Update, the Boulder Walks Program aims to strengthen the coalition of community-based organizations advocating for walk-friendly community design. As part of the Boulder Walks Program, the city is hosting a series of Walkabouts with Boulder community members in neighborhoods across the city.
Gold-level Walk Friendly Community
In April 2014, the City of Boulder earned recognition as a Gold-level Walk Friendly Community, one of only 13 Gold-level communities in the U.S. This rating was achieved due to innovative planning, the high level of walking, engineering treatments, city leadership, and community support.
- Nearly 10 percent of commuters walk to work
- Extensive multi-use path and trail network
- Excellent transit system with 90 percent of bus stops accessible by wheelchair
- 78 bicycle/pedestrian underpasses
Safe Routes to School Program
Since 2005, the City of Boulder has been awarded more than $1 million in Safe Routes to School programfunding to enable and encourage students to walk and bike to school. The program aims to empower the community by addressing barriers that prevent students from walking and biking to school, as well as the health problems related to a sedentary lifestyle. It also aims to help address fuel consumption, traffic and air pollution near schools.
Only cross when the "start crossing" symbol is on. It's illegal to enter a crosswalk when a steady "don't walk" symbol or flashing red hand symbol is on. If you are close to an intersection with a traffic signal, you must cross at the crosswalk.
- Where a sidewalk ends or where there are no sidewalks, walk on the outside edge of the roadway, facing traffic.
- At intersections, make sure motorists have seen you before you step off the curb. Don't assume they will see you or stop.
- Wear light-colored or reflective clothing, especially in stormy weather or at night. Carry a flashlight at night to see and be seen.
Learn about Boulder’s different Pedestrian Crossing Treatments
It is the responsibility of private property owners to maintain sidewalks adjacent to their properties. This includes snow and ice removal, vegetation management, and maintenance of cracked and uneven sidewalks.
The City of Boulder also has the Annual Sidewalk Repair Programs to repair sidewalks and install pedestrian access ramps in a specific area of the city each year. It is important for pedestrian access ramps to be installed on all sidewalks in order to provide accessibility for people with disabilities, strollers, and bikes.
Learn more about Sidewalk Repair and Maintenance Responsibility
Pedestrian travel is a good measure of the accessibility of the city’s transportation system. The pedestrian system provides connections between the different travel options and is a critical element in supporting the transit system. Walking is therefore the highest-priority travel mode in the Transportation Master Plan(TMP).
Learn more about the Pedestrian System Plan