Thursday, November 16, 2006

Boulder Transit Village UPDATE

by Osman Parvez


Tuesday, I attended a talk given by Louise Grauer, the Boulder City Planner. She gave us an update on the current options for Boulder Transit Village.

If you're a current resident of Boulder (or thinking about living here) you might want to pay attention to this issue. Boulder Transit Village meshes with the $4.7Bn FasTracks project. It's a big project and how it proceeds has long term implications for Boulder and surrounding communities.

We last wrote about Boulder Transit Village over a year ago. When issued our last report, the scope of the project was a massive 450 acres. Since then, it's been scaled back to about 1/3 the size. You can download a copy of the original report on Transit Village from our research archive.

Here's the update.

After many meetings involving the community (this is Boulder, remember), City Council and the Planning Board approved the vision and goals for Boulder Transit Village (summarized at the bottom of this post). Recently, planners came up with three options for the development. The options are arranged around what planners call the "Bones" of the project.

Here's a map.



Here are full details of the "Bones," or 10 common elements. The map shows how these common elements will work together.

Grade separated Goose Creek bike path will be a centerpiece of the new development. The north/south spine is called Junction Place. Steel Yards is integrated on the north west. Pearl Street is obviously quite central and the 30th and pearl interchange will have the highest intensity and mix of uses.

Now here's where there are some options and an opportunity to voice your opinion.

The Options for Boulder Transit Village:
Option #1: Junction Village
Option #2: Junction Center
Option #3: Junction Place
Current Trends (the null/no change option)

Here's a summary table.



The detailed assessments cover concerns over community design, economy, the environment, housing, social, and transportation issues.

According to city planners, the initial feedback seems to support option #2: Junction Center. That's my favorite as well. We like the "Bones" of the project and #2, the Junction Center option seems to balance affordable and market housing with jobs quite well.

And if you haven't already, be sure to visit the main website for Boulder Transit Village. It's filled with very useful and interesting information, including a timeline, scrapbook. You can also sign up for a newsletter for the latest information.

So you might be wondering how long it will take for development in Boulder Transit Village to fill out the area plan. According to city planners, it will take as long as 25 years for all development their envisioning to be completed. Train and Rapid Transit bus service is scheduled to be in place within 8 years however, and given the demand for Boulder Real Estate, I expect the buildout to be complete much sooner than that.

Time will tell....

Boulder Transit Village Vision and Goals

Vision:


  • A lively and engaging place with a diversity of uses, including housing, employment, retail, art and entertainment, as well as housing that serves a diversity of ages, incomes and ethnicities;
  • A place that is not overly planned, with a "charming chaos" that exhibits a variety of building sizes, styles and densities where not everything looks the same
  • A place with both citywide and neighborhood-sale public places
  • A place that attracts and engages a broad spectrum of the community, not just people who live and work here or come to access the transit in the area
  • A place that emphasizes and provides for alternative energy, sustainability, walking, biking and a possible car-free area, e.g. "eco-village."

  • Goals:


  • Create a well-used and well-loved, pedestrian-oriented place of enduring value that serves all of Boulder.
  • Support diversity through land use and travel options that expand opportunities for employees and residents of differing incomes, ethnicities, ages and abilities.
  • Enhance economic vitality: Increase economic activity for businesses, increase revenues for the city of Boulder, reduce transportation costs and expand travel options for residents and employees.
  • Connect to the natural and built environment: Create a place that reflects Boulder's commitment to environmental sustainability and where "green" development is integrated with the natural features in the area and connects to the larger city fabric.
  • Maximize the community benefit of the transit investment: Locate homes and employment to maximize access to local and regional bus service, future commuter rail and bus rapid transit, and to allow for a pedestrian-oriented lifestyle. Create a plan that will adapt to and be resilient for Boulder's long term future.





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    4 comments:

    1. It is interesting that several of the options call for a greater number of "affordable" or "low/moderate" income housing options. In Boulder the income limit for the program is 45K, I believe, which is actually the median income for Colorado. "Low/moderate" is actually the working - or what used to be called "middle" class... remember them Boulderites?

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    2. There's a number of ways to calculate "affordable" or "low/moderate" for housing purposes. I think the most common method is income statistics. Because Boulder has higher median incomes than surrounding areas, that tends to migrate "affordable" pricing upwards.

      At some point, I'll roll out a detailed post on affordable housing in Boulder. In the meantime, here's a wonderful resource to get you started.

      ReplyDelete
    3. tap tap. is this thing on? :)

      happy thanksgiving!

      ReplyDelete
    4. Thanks Caroline. Happy Thanksgiving to you too.

      Been a little busy with clients, the holiday, and other projects to blog as regularly as I'd like. Expect a revival shortly.

      ReplyDelete