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RTD Board endorses Northwest Area Mobility Study recommendations

The RTD Board of Directors adopted the recommendations of the Northwest Area Mobility Study Tuesday, June 24. The study was a collaborative effort with northwest area governments and transportation partners that set out to achieve consensus on a set of recommendations that could bring near-term mobility improvements to the northwest area.

It lasted 15 months.

Northwest Area Mobility StudyThe study was initiated in response to significant cost increases and delays associated with building and operating Northwest Rail - the 41-mile commuter rail line from Denver to Longmont included in RTD's FasTracks program.

Over the course of 17 facilitated meetings, elected officials and technical staff from RTD, the Colorado Department of Transportation and 13 area jurisdictions and agencies considered technical, economic and environmental analysis to develop a recommended list of agreed-upon priorities.

Consensus reached

Board of Directors Chairman Chuck Sisk
Board of Directors Chairman Chuck
Consensus is grounded in the understanding that the northwest area remains committed to Northwest Rail, as envisioned in FasTracks. However, given the projected timing of Northwest Rail's implementation, northwest area stakeholders want to see mobility benefits sooner.

"A little over a year ago, this challenge was daunting," said RTD Board Chair Chuck Sisk. "This study is a real model in regional cooperation, which has been the hallmark of the northwest region. RTD looks forward to continuing this collaborative spirit and working with the public and private sectors in the northwest area to improve mobility and fulfill fully the commitment of FasTracks as passed by the voters in 2004," he added.

The consensus priorities, some of which can be pursued simultaneously, are as follows:
  • US 36 Bus Rapid Transit (BRT): Complete remaining FasTracks-funded U.S. 36 BRT commitments.
  • Two Priority Arterial BRT Corridors: Conduct advanced planning and design of arterial BRT on Colorado 119 and U.S. 287. New funding must be identified for these and other arterial BRT corridors.
  • I-25 Reverse Commute Solutions: Work with the Colorado Department of Transportation to evaluate I-25 reverse commute solutions between Denver Union Station and Pecos Street.
  • Northwest Rail: Annually evaluate strategies to accelerate implementation of Northwest Rail, while recognizing it is a longer term goal.
  • Additional Arterial BRT: Consider implementing additional arterial BRT/enhanced bus corridors (Colorado 7, South Boulder Road, 120th Avenue, Colorado 42/95th Street and 28th Street/Broadway).

RTD will begin to pursue the priorities in partnership with local stakeholders. RTD has already applied for a federal grant to fund planning studies for the Colorado 119 and U.S. 287 arterial BRT corridors. Results of that application are expected this fall.

Entities that participated in the study are 36 Commuting Solutions and North Area Transportation Alliance; the cities of Arvada, Boulder, Broomfield,  Lafayette, Longmont, Louisville, Superior and Westminster; Boulder County; Colorado Department of Transportation, the Denver Regional Council of Governments and the University of Colorado-Boulder.
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