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Updating Boulder’s work zone traffic control guidelines Marni Ratzel Bicycle & Pedestrian Transportation Planner GO Boulder/city of Boulder.

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Presentation on theme: "Updating Boulder’s work zone traffic control guidelines Marni Ratzel Bicycle & Pedestrian Transportation Planner GO Boulder/city of Boulder."— Presentation transcript:

1 Updating Boulder’s work zone traffic control guidelines Marni Ratzel Bicycle & Pedestrian Transportation Planner GO Boulder/city of Boulder

2 2 GO Boulder >Make it easier to get around town by… >Providing “Great Options” in transportation.

3 3 Pedestrian detour?

4 4 Bikeway detour?

5 5 Presentation overview >About Boulder >Update process >Case study examples >Draft policies >Progress on practices

6 6 About Boulder

7 7 >101,500 people >25 square miles >County seat >Home of CU-Boulder serving 29,000 students >Gateway community to the Rocky Mountains

8 8 Biking System >On-street lanes miles*  175 built  69 more proposed *Includes bike shoulders >95% of arterial streets have bike facilities

9 9 Boulder’s Greenway System >a series of corridors along Boulder Creek and six of its tributaries

10 10 Biking System >Multi-use path miles  111 built  66 more proposed >Underpasses  74 built  53 more proposed >Bike rack on all buses

11 11 On-Street bike facilities

12 12 Mode share

13 13 Bikeway detour?

14 14 Updating Boulder’s WATCaSH Work Area Traffic Control and Safety Handbook

15 15 >Adopted in 1980 >Outdated >Policy but not practice

16 16 Involve stakeholders >Interdepartmental work group >Transportation Advisory Board >Barricade companies and contractors >Bicycling and walking organizations and individuals

17 17 Next generation document Update process >Address all modes >Clear expectations >Codified into code >Supplement MUTCD

18 18 Traffic Engineering Responsibilities Boulder Revised Code 1)The standards of the traffic engineering profession and of the state and federal governments; 2)Public safety; 3)The most efficient use of the streets and city parking areas; and 4)The costs involved.

19 19 WATCaSH Update Goals >Assure public safety >Protect system integrity and travel mobility of all >Achieve balance among often competing impacts: environmental, financial and social impacts

20 20 Interdepartmental Work Group >Planning & Development Services >Transportation and Utilities Project Management, >Transportation and Utilities Maintenance, >and Communications

21 21 Key issues: operations >When is it acceptable or necessary to close public ROW? >When a facility is closed, how should that closure be handled? >What factors should be considered? >Would policies for closing a sidewalk be different than for closing a multi- use path or bike lane/vehicular lane?

22 22 Key issues: authorization >What role does transportation operations / planning staff have in making decisions about closures? Review all public ROW closures or Grant authorization to project manager/right-of-way inspector? >Do we charge fee for closures?

23 23 Key issues: other >Non-standard signing City obligated to furnish Liability >Communication Requirements for advance notice On site accountability

24 24 Key factors of work zone impacts >Duration and time >Scope and size >Type of facility impacted >Type and amount of each mode impacted

25 25 Case Study Examples

26 26 When are differing levels of impact reasonable in interest of … 1.Safety, efficiency and mobility for all modes of travel in the public right of way; and 2.Financial costs involved with projects and their related work zone traffic control

27 27 Carnegie between Baylor and Yale Carnegie impacts: >Sidewalk closure >Three to 10 days >Pedestrians detoured to other sidewalk sidewalk closure = detour = Example: sidewalk repair program 27

28 28 The Peloton Arapahoe impacts: >North side multi- use path closed for several months >Temporary path provided through site during construction path closure = path detour = Example: redevelopment project

29 29 Example: 2008 CIP project 29 N. Broadway bike lane project >Phase II impacts: >(Linden – Norwood) >East side multi-use path closed >NB outside travel lane closed to motorists & barricaded for path detour Path closure = Lane closure = detour =

30 30 Draft policies

31 31 Hierarchy of closures Standard closures >Closures that occur between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. >Gives implied authorization from traffic engineer >Includes some vehicular lane, sidewalk and bike lane closures.

32 32 Standard closure: vehicular lane >Closure of one lane, where at least one other lane for that direction or movement will remain open; or >A short-term closure –20 minutes or less; or >A rolling closure –generally stopped at a single location for 20 minutes or less.

33 33 Standard closure: sidewalk >A sidewalk adjacent to a roadway that is classified as a “Local” roadway; and >Not within the CAGID or UHGID boundary areas; and >The closure is to occur for one week or less; and >Not the only sidewalk adjacent to the roadway. >Doesn’t require pedestrians to detour to a sidewalk on a separate, parallel roadway.

34 34 Standard closure: bike lane >A bicycle lane upon a roadway that is classified as local or collector roadway; and >Closure is handled using the city of Boulder Method for Handling Traffic (MHT) for bicycle lane closures policy.

35 35 Hierarchy of closures Non-standard closures >Any closure not defined as a “standard” closure in Section 5-a is defined as a “non-standard” closure. >Authorization requires review from Traffic Engineer and agreement on the method of handling impacts. >Non-standard closures include but are not limited to the following types of facility closures…

36 36 Non-standard closure: vehicular lane >Any lane closure during any time of day outside of the 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. time period; or >Any multiple lane closure; or >Any closure that requires a flagging operation; >Any closure that detours traffic to another roadway

37 37 Non-standard closure: sidewalk >Any sidewalk adjacent to a roadway classified as other than a “Local” roadway, >Any sidewalk within the CAGID or UHGID boundary areas, >Any sidewalk for the duration of more than 7 days. >Any sidewalk along a roadway where no other sidewalk is adjacent to the roadway. >Any sidewalk closure that will require pedestrians to detour to the sidewalk on a separate, parallel roadway.

38 38 Non-standard closure: bike lane >a bicycle lane upon a roadway classified as an arterial; >a contra-flow bicycle lane; >a bicycle lane which requires the bicycle traffic to detour to another roadway.

39 39 Non-standard closure: path >A multi-use path closure is never considered to be “standard”; >Detour plan required; >Detour onto a facility where bicyclists are not allowed to ride requires temporary designation as multi-use path; >Construction detour signing must be furnished and installed by the Project.

40 40 Detour options 1.Construct a temporary detour facility 2.Allocate a roadway lane as the detour facility 3.Detour to the other side of the street 4.Detour to another corridor

41 41 Closures requiring detours >Must develop and execute a detour sign and marking plan >Sidewalk and multi-use path detour signing must include but is not limited to MUTCD signing to: Inform users of facility closure Direct users at each decision point along the detour route to guide users around the closure, including “End Detour” signing.

42 42

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44 44 Communication policies Notification: >The nature/purpose of the work; >The time and duration; >Anticipated impacts; >Detour routes, if any; and >Contact information

45 45 Other policies >Special events must adhere to guidelines >Emergency closures are exempt during mobilization only >Review fee structure for ROW permits

46 46 Progress on Practice

47 47 Detour designating a sidewalk as a multi-use path

48 48 Detour using roadway lane

49 49 Detour closing a wide shoulder

50 50 Thank you Please visit For more information, contact Marni Ratzel at

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