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TAB unanimously recommended last night closing some streets. Staff has not wanted to.
Expense was cited as the reason. Today's presentation has some numbers.
Mostly bc the barriers needed to close streets will have to be rented:
• $30 per Day per Block Face
• 25 blocks for 30 days = $22,500
In an analysis, "we did not find any circumstances that would suggest a necessity for road closures," Bill Cowern says. They looked at roads by parks and the density of areas relative to access to parks.
You have to take that in context, Cowern says. "It's not bc we are special or different." There are real differences: Denver has more ppl and fewer parks, for instance.
"What we are seeing on our roadways and on our sidewalks is conditions ... where roadways are largely devoid of motor vehicle traffic. Peds can choose to walk on the sidewalk or on just about any local street in the city."
This is still Cowern, btw.
Staff doesn't think it's necessary to formally close streets.

Also, we don't want to be "encouraging" ppl to gather in the streets; apparently ppl are playing checkers and soccer...?
Approx 60% less traffic on our roadways than we typically see, Cowern says.
If you remember, Community Cycles recommended six closures throughout the city:…
Staff is using two as a model to show how much this will cost:
Pilot #1 - 4th Street from Kalmia to Mapleton
• Access to Mount Sanitas Trailhead
• Popular cycling corridor
• 15 Blocks – between $10K and $15K for 30 days
Pilot #2 – 19th Street from Violet to Yarmouth
• Bisects the Boulder Meadows Neighborhood
• Violet Park has not been completed
• 2 Blocks – between $1K and $1.5 for 30 days
"Again, we do not have these barriers as a city asset," Cowern says.
Cowern: "Simple questions of for how many streets and how long, I think this will be very impactful to our limited resources, very quickly."
"It's certainly become apparent to me that arguments I am making on behalf of staff are not compelling to you," Cowern says.
So those two pilot projects above are staff suggestions to actually do something.
The barriers would only block thru traffic, btw. Local traffic and deliveries, and of course emergency responders, would still get through.
Swetlik: Was TAB aware of the financials and the furloughs when they made their recommendation?
Cowern: They were not
Cowern: "I would like to be as honest about their feedback as possible. I tried to make a compelling argument for just how dire our financial situation is going to be. ... I believe they understood that but felt compelled to make the recommendation they did nonetheless."
Swetlik: Maybe it's worth asking TAB again, given the new financial information?
"I def like the concept as it is, but I'm super concerned about funding at this point given the update we've still received and still not knowing the full picture," Swetlik says.
"I'd love to implement something like this," he says, "but is this truly the best time?"
Joseph q: What about the amount of staff time? Do we know that?
Cowern: "It really will depend on the level of proliferation. A q I've struggled to wrap my head around is what is the community or council's expectation?"
A couple of pilot qs? Yes, we can do that.
(Cowern says)
Apparently staff time includes watching the barriers to make sure they stay in place, Cowern says.
If this were 30-50 blocks, Cowern says, it would take "many days" to set it up and then "somebody would need to spend their entire day monitoring that."
"The person I would have probably done (that job) we just furloughed," Cowern says.
Is it really necessary to have a staff member spend all day watching barricades?
That seems ridiculous to me but I know nothing about transportation operations. Do they get moved all the time and need to be moved back? What about when traffic is reduced so much?
If we wanted to do pilot 1 or 2, we could have that done by Monday, Cowern says.
Joseph: I love this street rebalancing idea, but I'm concerned about community outreach. I wouldn't want barriers on my street without getting to weigh in on that.
She suggests maybe waiting until May to do any street rejiggering, bc April is really critical that ppl stay at home or at least have more time to get masks bc they start exercising outside.
Nagle: "I'm sorry you've had to spend 3 weeks working on this. I'm pretty confused why we're still" spending time on this.
"It's controversial. ... You're now pitting cars against pedestrians and bikes. It's pretty obvious to me personally that we do not have the funds for this."
"I'm very ready to put it to bed. I'd like to preserve our resources for the things the community needs. People need to realize this is a time of rationing... the central system needs to go" to essential needs.
Strong words from Nagle, criticizing ppl pushing for this for wasting staff's time.
Wallach: "I'm unwilling to have staff spend another hour on the expansion of any program that's not directly related to life, health and safety."
"It's not a bad program, but it's not for this moment in time."
"This to me is a distraction."
Brockett: Looking around the country and the world, there are many cities implementing programs like this. Some are doing "a really simple approach"; it's not about entirely closing a street. We're seeing sawhorses with a sign to share the street, local traffic only.
Can we do something cheaper like that?
Brautigam: "I have grave concerns" about this. "If we just put up sawhorses" that don't qualify under uniform manual traffic control criteria "we open ourselves up to risk."
That's why we're trying to "conform to the rules of traffic engineering."
Brockett: Ppl do need the ability to get some fresh air and exercise while staying far apart from one another. While we have a lot of open space and parks, we're experiencing crowding on our trails. I'd love to take a simple approach, not an unsafe approach, in a couple places.
"When we talk about what time we're in, this is an extraordinary time" that could help our residents, he says. Suggests the road by Boulder Meadows mobile home park, which doesn't have a park nearby.
Young: If these were not the times we were in, what would be the kind of before-and-after analysis you would perform? What kind of data collection would be anticipated?
Cowern: A difficult question. What drives data collection is what your goals are. Those are dif from what they might be in a different time.
"What I would hope to see in a successful pilot is a street that has bikes and pedestrians either in conflict with each other on the sidewalk or in conflict with motor vehicle traffic on the roadway before the pilot and quite clearly a situation that was Dif after the pilot."
That should be seen by video.
Young: "I'm not sure what the goals of this are. If the goals are to allow ppl to go out and exercise and be distant from each other, what I'm observing out there is completely amenable to that already."
"I've seen virtually no traffic on streets like Iris, Arapahoe, Canyon, Broadway. ... There doesn't appear to be an issue."
"I'm not sure what problem we're trying to solve here," she says.
Young: "This is about health and safety but for the moment the health and safety of not contracting the virus is far more (important) than being able to be out on the street" without fear of automobiles.
She also thinks 4th Street is not a good one; it's close to Sanitas and there are few cars anyway. The one near the mobile home park is "more intriguing" to me, but we don't have the staff.
"Having streets for ppl is certainly a goal we should proceed with but at this point and time it just does not make sense."
Evergreen tweet.
Friend: Are there cities that are more like Boulder than Denver doing this?
Cowern: "Our focus has primarily been on comparing ourselves to the Denver program." Didn't see anywhere else in the Front Range doing this.
He's still looking into cities. "There certainly are more than a dozen across the countries that are doing some kind of closures," many just within parks. Many are large cities like Philly, Oakland, Dallas, Cleveland, Boston, "which are going to be contextually very Dif from us."
Burlington, Vt. and Austin are on that list.
Austin closed a lane on a highway.
Here's a database of every city and what it's doing:…
This is a safety issue, Friend says. We're still considering exercise as an essential thing.

"We're in this for months or longer."
"I do think there are critical reasons to want to encourage this. ... I was biking on Iris last week and it was pretty harrowing. There were 2 lanes but cars were in the one closer to me and they were going fast."
"It's BECAUSE it's this point in time. Cars are going faster. And we need the space."
This is "one way" to prioritize health and safety.

"It's also modeling we're not trying to be a car-centric town. It's frankly a way to give ppl hope when it's desperately needed."
"I get that we don't want to spend $$, but I'm sure we're still going to spend a lot of $$ up keeping trails and roads and a lot of other services."

This is still Friend, btw.
Yates: If we did these pilots with barricades, local traffic would still be allowed to drive on these streets, right?
Yes, Cowern says. One of the concerns we've always had is it's "virtually impossible" to enforce.
"We have every expectation it would not be just local traffic driving on the roads," Cowern says.
Yates: I want to be fair to TAB and their recommendation.
He's not for it, either.
So that's the end of that. No streets will be closed.

We're breaking for the 8 p.m. howl. Back at 8:04(ish)
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