Welcome welcome. And a happy Wednesday to you. Here’s what’s up.

For today, John Herrick covers the latest developments in Boulder’s path towards street safety. The main piece of this is the possible redesign of intersections, as that’s where most traffic crashes occur.

Some methods to increase the safety of intersections could include prohibiting right turns on red at certain intersections, timing signals so people using the crosswalk get a head start over cars, and removing right-turn “slip lanes,” which are separate lanes that cut through the corners of intersections to allow drivers to make right-hand turns without stopping.

Also, we have the latest on the new North Broadway bike lane that has drawn much ire, and what the open seat on the Open Space Board of Trustees might mean.

Enjoy the day. Next stop, Friday.

— Tim, reporter

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What to know today

  • 65 today, snow tomorrow: After a taste of warmth, Mother Nature will remind us that we’re not done with winter yet. Enjoy the time in your t-shirt, because it’s back to sweaters and coats for a little while longer.
  • Second annual remembrance for shooting: Almost two years ago, 10 people were killed by a shooter in the South Boulder King Soopers. On March 22, on the second anniversary of the shooting, a remembrance event will be held at eTown Hall, 1535 Spruce St. in Boulder from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. The event is free but registration is required.
    • “Our community has demonstrated incredible resilience in the two years that have passed since the tragedy. We remain committed to supporting all who were impacted while moving forward, together,” said City of Boulder Mayor Aaron Brockett. “The Day of Remembrance is a way for us to honor the victims, acknowledge the collective trauma our community has experienced and bring community members together with art and music.”
    • Those dealing with traumatic memories of the event are encouraged to visit the Boulder Strong Resource Center at 2935 Baseline Road in Boulder.
  • City council to seat new board and commission members: At this week’s Boulder City Council meeting, councilmembers are planning to appoint new members to serve on the city’s boards and commissions, most of which are made up of volunteers who provide policy recommendations to the council.
    • The board that received the most applicants was the Parks and Recreation Advisory Board, a seven-member board that weighs in on city park construction projects, maintenance and other matters. Seven people are seeking two open seats.
    • The one open seat on the Open Space Board of Trustees, a five-member board that has quasi-judicial decision-making authority over certain open space management issues, received five applicants. Whomever councilmembers select will likely tip the political leanings of the board just months before it is expected to decide whether to issue a critical permit for the South Boulder Creek flood mitigation project, a $66 million spillway at the center of the decades-old fight over developing CU South.
    • City officials said they received 60 applications for the 29 open spots.
  • Changes made to North Boulder bike lane to improve safety, more might be coming: The almost complete $11 million North Broadway reconstruction project between Violet Ave. and U.S. 36 includes a highly criticized new bike lane. Cyclists have argued the bike lane is less safe than it was before the reconstruction. Some are calling on the city to prohibit parking along it, in part to make more room for cyclists.
    • Natalie Stiffler, the city’s interim director of transportation, told members of the Transportation Advisory Board on Monday the city has added paint to delineate parking spaces and the bike lane. About a week ago, Stiffler said, the city started prohibiting overnight parking during the “snow and ice season.” She said there may be additional parking enforcement and signage to encourage drivers to park closer to the curb and to not block the bike lane.
    • Stiffler said she has had conversations with the city attorney’s office about potentially banning parking along the bike path. She said city officials would likely want the city’s Planning Board and the Boulder City Council to update the North Boulder Subcommunity Plan. Such an update would require a community engagement process.
  • Don’t get medication advice from TikTok: Researchers at CU are looking into social media influencers encouraging the use of certain medications. So called “patient influencers” are using their platform on social media sites, like TikTok, to encourage followers to buy drugs. Erin Willis, an associate professor of advertising, public relations and media design, said that the influencers are now operating as “direct-to-consumer” advertising — a practice that has been controversial for medication since it began in the 1980s.
    • “This is happening, with or without regulation, and people should be aware of it,” Willis said.
    • An example of this is the diabetes drug Ozempic. Promoted on TikTok and Twitter for its purported weight loss benefits, there has been an uptick in use that has caused a shortage for patients who actually need the medication. And those who wanted the weight loss benefits and opted for “off-label” options have experienced side effects like “violent diarrhea and extreme facial thinning.”
    • Pharmaceutical companies seem to be working with “micro-influencers,” or those with fewer than 100,000 followers, because of cheaper rates. And despite them not being celebrities, these micro-influencers can have a greater impact on their followers’ behaviors, maybe because they’re more accessible.
    • “Health literacy and digital literacy are both concerningly low in this country,” Willis said. “The fact that patients with no medical training are broadly sharing drug information should alarm us.”

Go Deeper…

Boulder may ban cars from making right turns at some red lights, among other changes, to reduce traffic crashes

By John Herrick

March 15, 2023

In an effort to make the City of Boulder’s streets safer, transportation officials are planning to reengineer its busiest intersections, where the largest share of traffic crashes occur. Since 2017, the earliest city crash data available, 281 crashes on the city’s streets have resulted in an “incapacitating” injury or death. Cyclists and pedestrians were involved in most of those collisions. And the most common location for these crashes was at an intersection. 

The focus on intersections is part of the city’s latest draft of its Vision Zero Action Plan, a five-year guiding document that describes how the city plans to achieve its goal of eliminating “fatal and serious injury crashes” by 2030. The five-member Transportation Advisory Board unanimously endorsed the new plan this week. The Boulder City Council is scheduled to weigh in on April 6. 

Continue reading…

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BRL picks

🏡 First-time homebuyer toolkit: Elevations Credit Union is offering a means to avoid the mistakes some might make when first buying a home. Tomorrow at noon, some “seasoned mortgage lenders” will teach attendees about budgeting for a home, mortgage options and working with a realtor. The event is free.

🎻 The Sphere Ensemble: The innovative string orchestra with be performing at the Broomfield Auditorium on Saturday, March 18 at 7:30 pm, and Sunday, March 19th at 2:00 pm at the Mercury Cafe in Denver. “Sphere’s programs include exceptional works from all genres to create a new definition of modern performance.” Tickets here.

🎨 7 deadly sins: A new exhibit opens today at R Gallery and Wine Bar. Local Colorado artists give their take on pride, greed, lust, envy, gluttony, wrath and sloth — an examination of the human experience, if you will. The exhibit runs through April 23.

🌄 Chautauqua at Museum of Boulder: Running through the end of March, “Chautauqua: 125 Years at the Heart of Boulder,” is still available for viewing at the Museum of Boulder. The exhibit showcases Chautauqua’s history and its impact on the Boulder community with archival photos, videos, local artwork, and an interactive musical experience. The event is free.

For more ideas on what to do this week, check out BRL’s Local Events page.


  • Are Boulder restaurant-goers becoming ruder? Bad customer behavior seems to be increasing, according to local restaurant owners, who still face staffing shortages and other pressures. Some are starting to put their foot down.

Tim Drugan is the climate and environment reporter for Boulder Reporting Lab, covering wildfires, water and other climate-related issues for Boulder 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. Email: tim@boulderreportinglab.org.