Here we are for a wonderful, whimsical, Wednesday, Boulder.

For today’s top story, John Herrick covers parking, a topic near and dear to all of our hearts.

Boulder officials are looking to increase the cost of parking in most of downtown to roughly $2 an hour. The goal is encouraging more traffic turnover so drivers spend less time searching for spots. Also on the table are changes to the neighborhood parking permit program, which costs residents able to live in Boulder less to park their cars outside their homes than those parking for work. The proposed alterations address a longstanding tension between keeping downtown accessible while also discouraging car traffic.

See you Friday.

— Tim, reporter

What to know today

  • Almost no precipitation to speak of: Low 70s and high 60s are kept company by a lack of moisture. Thankfully, there’s also no wind in the forecast.
  • Feedback sought on transpo projects: City officials are seeking community feedback on a proposed application for federal grant money to continue building safer intersections and new bike lanes along 30th Street. The money would also help the extension of a protected bike lane along Folsom from Pine Street to Colorado Ave. Those with comments need to submit them before Friday, Oct. 21.
    • “If successful, the city will begin project work, including community engagement and project design, when funds are distributed in 2024.”
    • The work is part of the city’s shift in its transportation safety focus, away from local streets and toward the development and improvement of the city’s Core Arterial Network, or CAN. About two-thirds of Boulder’s severe crashes occur on its arterial streets.
  • Missing teen found: 14-year-old Chloe Campbell was found at a residence in Thornton on Monday after she went missing on Sept. 30. She was brought to a hospital to receive a medical evaluation. Whether or not she ran away, and what happened in the 10 days she was missing, is still under investigation. “The family has credible information that Chloe was in harm’s way during her disappearance and we will not stop pursuing the truth in this matter,” her parents said.
    • Had Campbell still been missing on Monday night, the Colorado Bureau of Investigation would likely have put out a missing and endangered person’s report to national media outlets, according to Boulder Police.
  • City accepting applications to host MLK events: Through Nov. 4, Boulder is accepting funding proposals for those businesses that want to host an event for the City’s Martin Luther King Jr. celebration. Grants range from $1,000 to $2,500.
  • Many rebuilding high-performance homes after Marshall Fire: Though Louisville and Superior are letting people rebuild to less stringent codes — those whose homes burned in the Marshall Fire can build to 2018 standards rather than those approved in 2021 — 39 out of 95 approved for rebuilding (41%) are opting to build to higher energy standards, the county said.
    • “The Marshall Fire is changing the way we look at building in Colorado and across the nation,” said Zac Swank, Boulder County Built Environment Coordinator. “More than ever, residents are looking to build ‘climate ready’ homes that are more comfortable, healthier, energy efficient, and resistant to future wildfire and smoke damage.”
    • Rebuilding to higher standards qualifies them for energy efficiency rebates. The financial incentives come from Xcel Energy and the State of Colorado, which “developed programs to reduce the costs of rebuilding high-performance and electrified homes.”
  • County commissioners take stance on (some) ballot measures: At their weekly business meeting on Tuesday, Boulder County Commissioners decided to put forth their opinions on various state and local ballot measures (though not necessarily the most controversial ones). On municipal measures in Boulder, commissioners backed creating a new tax on electricity and gas, but stayed mum on moving city elections to even years, repealing the CU South annexation agreement, and helping create a property-tax funded library district. Voters can decide whether the commissioners’ opinions will influence their own.
  • Boulder seeking applicants for police oversight panel — reminder: Applications are still open for another couple of days, and Boulder residency is not required. Panel members review complaint files before recommending action to the Boulder Police Department, such as training for officers, discipline or policy changes. The goal of the panel is “to assist in providing equitable outcomes and restoring community trust.”
    • Panel membership will require about 15 hours per month. Members receive $200 per month stipend.
    • Applications must be received by Friday, Oct. 14.

Go deeper

Boulder officials eye changes to neighborhood parking permit program, downtown meters

By John Herrick

New parking policies may kick in this spring, making it easier to find a spot for your car downtown. 

City of Boulder officials are recommending raising the cost of street parking to $2 per hour across much of the city’s downtown. The change is part of a strategy to free up spaces for visitors by encouraging more turnover at meters. 

The price hike would affect several blocks on Spruce, Pearl and Walnut Streets near downtown, according to a memo shared with the Transportation Advisory Board on Monday, Oct. 10, 2022. City staff recommended making the changes in April 2023. 

Currently, parking across the city is $1.50 per hour and free for at least 15 minutes. With the proposed changes, city officials hope more people will use the city’s public parking garages, where the rates are generally $1.25 per hour. The city’s parking garages, on average, are about half full during times of peak demand, according to the city. 

City officials are also considering changes to a neighborhood parking permit program that requires people to have annual passes to park for more than two to three hours in certain neighborhoods, including Whittier, Mapleton Hill and Chautauqua. The program is in part aimed at “preserving the character of our neighborhoods.”  

Continue reading…

TOGETHER WITH World Singing Day Boulder
A BRL Today sponsor

Join us at the 7th annual World Singing Day Boulder, a free community sing-along on Sat, Oct. 15 on Pearl St. from 2 to 3:30 pm. Sing along to songs from the Beatles to current hits. Lyric booklets provided. Just show up and sing. Learn more.

BRL picks

🤣 Comedy at License No. 1: Every Thursday, the speakeasy style bar under the Boulderado hosts two comedy shows, one at 7:30 p.m. and another at 9:30 p.m. Tickets are $20 and audience members must be 21 with an ID.

🎭 ShakesFear: An Autumn’s Tale: “Shakespeare’s characters have broken free of his pages and are haunting campus.” Running through Oct. 16, have an immersive Shakespearean experience, with “the most bloody, ghostly and ghastly characters from the Bard’s work.” Tickets are $16.

☃️ Name a snowplow: Boulder elementary students are encouraged to submit their ideas for what the city’s plows should be named for this coming winter. The names will be featured on each plow, and winners can pose for a pic with the plow they named. Deadline extended to Oct. 14.

🌲 Applications open for naturalist training: Boulder County is seeking applications for volunteer naturalist training classes. Naturalists lead hikes, present slides, and work with school groups both in the classroom and on trails. If you’re interested in sharing nature with others, apply by Oct. 31. If selected, training will be every Friday from Jan. 6 to March 10. Ongoing weekday availability is a must.

Covid in Boulder County: Oct. 12, 2022

  • 60 daily new cases (7-day avg.) ⬇️ Down 10% over preceding 7-day avg.
  • 9 patients hospitalized with Covid (7-day avg.) ⬇️ Down from a high of 13 last week.
  • 37% percent of ICU is occupied. ⬇️ Down from avg. of 65% since July 2020.

What else we’re reading

  • American Birthright’ standards? Colorado State school board member Debora Scheffel, dean of the school of education at Colorado Christian University, is planning to introduce “American Birthright” model standards as an amendment at today’s state board of education meeting. The social studies standards were crafted by a national conservative education coalition. They focus on Western civilization and American exceptionalism and highlight patriotism and Christianity, CPR reports. The standards have been heavily criticized by national social studies groups.
  • Denver’s newest initiative to electrify homes: Bloc Power, the company that Ithaca, New York chose to help electrify its entire building stock, is helping 200 low- and moderate-income Denver households switch to an all-electric heat pump system for heating and cooling, part of the city’s climate goals to get to 100% clean energy by 2040.

ICYMI


Tim Drugan

Tim Drugan covers wildfires, water and other climate change-related issues for Boulder Reporting Lab with a focus on explanatory and solutions journalism. He also is the lead writer of BRL Today, our morning newsletter. Tim grew up in New Hampshire and graduated from UNH with a degree in English/Journalism.