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3 - Citizen Participation, Amendments to North Boulder Subcommunity Right-Of-Way Plan-~~:. . , ~~. _ : ~ . n.,.~ ,.~ . _ ~,~. _ _ ~ Mary Lovnen - Amendments to North Boulder Sub-Community Right-of-Way Pian page From: "Marcil, John R." <JMarcil@faegre.com> To: "'durians@ci.boulder.co.us"' <durians@ci.boulder.co.us> Date: 5/8/02 9:24PM Subject: Amendments to North Boulder Sub-Community Right-of-Way Plan > Ladies and Gentlemen: > > My response to the Planning Board Staff Report regarding amendments to > North Boulder Sub-Communiry Right-of-Way Pian regarding modifications to > Front Range and Lykins Avenues is attached. At this point, I do not know > whether i will be able to attend the May 16 Planning Board Meeting > soliciting public comment on this issue. > > Please do not hesitate to contact me if you have any difficulty opening > the attachment or you would like to discuss my response. > > Thank you. > > John R. Marcil > > «NBSP Letter.doc» CC: "'tlnpa@co.boulder.co.us"' <tlnpa@co.bouider.co.us>, "'pommerco@aol.com"' <pommerco@aol.com>, "'ado-ecos@indra.com"' <ado-ecos@indra.com>, "'macorl@SEEDColorado.org"' <macon@S~EDColorado.org>, "'spitrer@aya.yale.edu"' <spitzer@aya.yale.edu>, "'simon.mole@judicial.state.co.us"' <simon.mole@judicial.state.co.us>, "'mmcarthy@faegre.com"' <mmcarthy@faegre.com>, "'stevelbg@yahoo.com"' <stevelbg@yahoo.com> _ ~ ~~ ~a ~, ~. Mary Lovrien -NBSP Letter.doc Page 1 John R. Marcil 486010'h Street Boulder, CO 80304 May 8, 2002 Mr. Steve Durian Project Manager City of Boulder Via E-mail: durian~ci.boulder.co.us Re: Public comment and Board discussion of whether or not to initiate amendments to North Boulder Sub-Community Right-of--Way Plan regarding modifications to Front Range and Lykins Avenues Dear Mr. Durian: 1 reside at 4860 10th Street, on the comer of 10th Street and Front Range, with my wife (who is five month pregnant) and our two year old son. We moved to this address in Dakota Ridge in 1997 and have been active members of the Boulder community since 1995. I have reviewed the Planning Board Staff Report regarding amendments to North Boulder Sub-Community Right-of--Way Plan ("NBSP") regarding modifications to Front Range and Lykins Avenues. The NBSP, if it is not amended, would require the extension of Front Range and Lykins Avenues from the Dakota Ridge residential neighborhood to Broadway. The Planning Board Staff Report recommends that the NBSP should not be amended. I respectfully, but strenuously, object to the Staffs recommendation. The Staff argues in favor of implementing the existing NBSP for two basic reasons: (1)"to disperse traffic rather than focus traffic on single collector streets" and (2)to develop "walkable neighborhoods by creating multiple pedestrian routes spaced at a pedestrian scale." I agree that these are important goals. However, while the NBSP may appear to serve these goals on paper, in reality it will do little to disperse traffic or create usefid pedestrian routes, Further, the TMP policies cannot be applied in a vacuum, and the Board must take into account the demographics of the areas that will be connected by implementing the TMP. If the NBSP is not amended. then Front Range Avenue will provide direct vehicle and Qedestrian access at a "pedestrian scale" between a residential neighborhood populated lar~y with families and an all-nude "Gentlemen's Club" and one of the countrv s lar@est homeless shelters. No Added Convenience. First, Front Range is one block from Lee HiII Road, the sole existing connection between Dakota Ridge and Broadway. Any added convenience of connecting Front Range to Broadway-whether traveling by car, bike or on foot-is negligible. Ma Lovnen -NBSP Letter doc _ ___h! ~- _ _._ _ Page_ Mr. Steve Durian Project Manager City of Boulder May 8, 2002 Page 2 No Current or Expected Vehicle Traffic Problems in South Dakota Ridge. Second, Dakota Ridge is being developed in three phases: Phase I, which is the southern most part and was developed in about 1995; Phase R, which is north of Phase I and was developed in 2001; and Phase III, which is north of Phase II and is under construction. For seven years, Lee Hill Road has been the only method of ingress and egress to Dakota Ridge, and there has never been a traffic or access problem to date. Afrer the completion of Phase III, there will be at least one new connecting street to Broadway (Laramie) and possibly three (Laramie, Lykins, and Front Range). It is very unlikely that residents of Phase III will access Broadway via Lykins, Front Range, or Lee Hill (unless their intent is to head west on Lee Hill, and the bulk of the traffic heads east to Broadway) but instead will travel on Laramie, the closest means of access to Broadway. (Obviously, the same applies when traveling from Broadway to Phase III). In fact, after the completion of Laramie, it is very likely that residents of Phase II who currently access Broadway via Lee Hill will instead access Broadway via Laramie, resulting in a net decrease in traffic on Lee Hill. Consequently, no meaningful traffic dispersion would occur by opening up Front Range. If it is anticipated that growth in Dakota Ridge-all of which is in Phase III-will create traffic dispersion issues, then increased access to Route 36 and/or Broadway should be developed in Phase III. Further, traffic traveling south on Broadway slows from 6S to 40 m.p.h. at the proposed intersection vVith Lykins and the speed limit is 40 m.p.h. at the proposed intersection with Front Range. Because of traffic volume and speed limits, the City deemed it necessary to install a traffic light at the corner of Lee Hill and Broadway. Presumably, the City would also be required to install lights at the Lykins and Front Range intersections, resulting in three traffic lights within aquarter-of-a mile stretch, or vehicles accessing Broadway via Front Range or Lykins would be forced to merge with 40+ m.p.h. traffic, which is substantial at rush hour. More Convenient Pedestrian Access to the Commercial Development East of Dakota Ridee Is Not Necessary. The Staffs second reason for recommending against an amendment to the NBSP is to create "multiple pedestrian routes spaced at a pedestrian scale." Presumably, this is designed to benefit residents of Dakota Ridge and encourage them to use alternative, low impact methods of transportation and develop a greater sense of community. The principal destinations in the immediate vicinity east of Dakota Ridge are the "Bus Stop Gentlemen's Club," the homeless shelter, a myriad of auto repair and other light industrial businesses, and practice studios for local musicians. It is neither essential nor desirable for Dakota Ridge residents to have more convenient access to these establishments; and it is neither essential nor desirable for patrons of these establishments to have more convenient access to Dakota Ridge. Access between the Ma '~ Lovrien -NBSP Letter doc Page:; Mr. Steve Durian Project Manager City of Boulder May 8, 2002 Page 3 Wonderland Lake trail system and the azeas east of Dakota Ridge is plentiful and convenient as is. . The only remotely compelling reasons to increase pedestrian access to Broadway are to make access to the more consumer-oriented businesses further south on Broadway and the Skip more convenient. It is illogical to assume the residents of Phase II and III will seek to access Broadway by foot via Front Range, simply because Laramie will be much closer. And it would not be quicker for a pedestrian desiring to head south on Broadway to cut through on Lykins or Front Range than it is to walk the safer route south through Dakota Ridge to Lee Hill or to the Wonderland Lake trail system. Residents of Phase I have lived with the current access for seven years. There is no compelling reason to change it now. The City is interested in increasing the use of public transportation, and I share that goal. But connecting more side streets to Broadway is not an effective means of encouraging use of public transit. It would be much more effective to put a bus stop closer to Dakota Ridge, either on Laramie or Lee Hill. Skip busses cun•ently turn around in the parking lot of the "Gentlemen's Club," and frequently park there for several minutes. My proposed solution would not materially interfere with the current Skip route or schedule. Homeless Shelter. Most importantly, the Staffs Report gives little or no consideration to material changes in the Broadway-Lee Hill area since the adoption of the NBSP-namely the proposed construction of one of the largest homeless facilities in the country. As the Staff should know, residents of Dakota Ridge are very concerned about the impact of the homeless shelter on the neighborhood and the safety of our children. The homeless shelter cites a lack of incidents in the neighborhood behind its current location as the main reason why residents of Dakota Ridge should not be overly concerned with the new location. Fair enough. But there is no direct access-meaning streets with sidewalks-from the current shelter inviting access directly into that neighborhood. 1 am a supporter of the homeless shelter and I have not and do not object to its proposed location. However, as a husband and a father, I took great comfort from my discussions a few months back with Bob Mann, the former executive director of the homeless shelter, and representatives of Dakota Ridge who assured me that the City, Transit, the homeless shelter, and Dakota Ridge were all in agreement that there was no compelling reason to follow the NBSP and connect IOth to Broadway via Front Range and Lykins. Now that the relocation of the homeless shelter has been confirmed and Dakota Rid'ge's plan for assuring the safety of its residents has been rejected in its totality, the Staff appears to have changed its mind-or I was simply misinformed. The Staffs only argument to mitigate the safety concerns of Dakota Ridge residents is that the Front Range extension mieht be constructed so that a "shift in alignment Mary Lovrien -NBSP Letter.doc Page 4 Mr. Steve Durian `' Project Manager City of Boulder May 8, 2002 Page 4 effectively breaks the sight line between the homeless shelter and the neighborhood. This alignment shift would be expected to lessen the pedestrian activity from outside the neighborhood to points inside the neighborhood while still providing a pedestrian opportunity for residents to reach Broadway on foot." In other words, residents of Dakota Ridge should not be concerned with safety because Front Range might have a curve in it. And somehow, this curve will discouraee pedestrian traffic west into Dakota Ridge, but encouraee pedestrian traffic from Dakota Ridge to Broadway. With all due respect, this makes absolutely no sense. Simply put, the Staff has not articulated any compelling reason to stay with the current NBSP and extend Front Range or Lykins to Broadway. Although no one can predict whether the homeless shelter will endanger the residents of Dakota Ridge, I, like many others, have many serious and legitimate concerns. The homeless shelter has made it abundantly clear that it will not assure the safety of the residents of Dakota Ridge nor will it take responsibility for any incidents that occur outside of its premises. The Planning Board can take a very simple step to protect and give peace of mind to the residents of Dakota Ridge-amend the NBSP and vacate the plan to extend Front Range and Lykins to Broadway. Thank you very much for your time and consideration. Sincerely, /s/ John R. Marcil cc: Tina Nielsen, Vice Chair, Planning Board, tlnoa cnr co.boulder.co.us Beth Pommer, Planning Board, pommerco(tdaol.com Thomas J. Krueger, Planning Board Alan O'Hashi, Planning Board, ado-ecos c(e indra.com Macon Cowles, Planning Board, macon e.SEEDColorado.org John B. Spitzer, Jr., Planning Board, spitzerna aya.yale.edu Simon Mole, Planning Board, Simon.mole(a~judicial.state.co.us Michael McCarthy, Boulder Shelter for the Homeless, mmcarthy(7a faegre.com Stephen LeBlang, Boulder Shelter for the Homeless, stevelbg~yahoo.com