Howdy, Boulder! 👋 Hope the midpoint of the week finds you in good spirits.

Today’s top story from John Herrick is about Boulder Junction Transit Village, a fast-growing residential area designed with public transit in mind. Its bus station used to be the heart of the village. Then it closed, and it now remains unclear when the buses for which the neighborhood was named will return.

Elsewhere, you’ll find all the good stuff you expect from BRL Today: from essential community info, like tonight’s deadline for the county’s post-fire curbside collection survey, to fun ways to connect with the place you love, like this weekend’s return of Frozen Dead Guy Days in Nederland.

Got a story tip for us? Don’t be shy.

– Jezy, managing editor

An RTD bus runs along 30th Street near Boulder Junction Transit Village on the afternoon of March 15. As part of its future service plan, RTD has proposed restoring just one of the five bus routes that once served the fast-growing, transit-centered neighborhood. Credit: Harry Fuller

Quickly

🌧️ Winter weather returns: Snowfall is in the forecast this evening, with a Winter Storm Watch taking effect at 6 p.m. and running through Thursday afternoon. Expect cloudy and cooler conditions for much of the day, with highs near 50.

⚠️ New city emergency alert system: Police and fire departments will be able to send Integrated Public Alert Warnings (IPAWS), including Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA), to the public through a new emergency alert capability announced this week by the City of Boulder. “These messages will light up all enabled cell phones in a specific geographic area with sounds and text, similar to Amber Alerts and National Weather Service emergency notices, without requiring users to opt-in or subscribe to the service.”

🌊 Erosion control (and more) at Boulder Creek: Construction is set to begin Monday, March 21, on two projects from the city and Mile High Flood District (MHFD) related to erosion control and improving bridge supports. Affected areas include west of Eben G. Fine Park under Boulder Canyon Drive, and 28th Street and 28th Street Frontage Road along Boulder Creek. The city says construction should last about a week, and Boulder Creek Path will be closed occasionally during the project.

👩‍🌾 Post-fire gardening: Since urban blazes like the Marshall Fire can produce harmful contaminants like heavy metals, Boulder County Public Health has released guidance for safe gardening in areas affected by the Dec. 30 disaster. Check out the full guidelines (in English and Spanish) here.

🗑️ Curbside collection survey: Boulder County wants to hear from residents of Superior, Louisville and unincorporated Boulder County to determine whether or not to launch a second round of curbside collection for wind and fire-damaged items. Complete the online form by the end of the day.

✍️ New bill on insurance protections: HB22-1111, a new bill sponsored by Rep. Judy Amabile (D-Boulder) — which advanced yesterday in the house — would “update a 2013 law by standardizing what insurers will pay out in claims for lost property and additional living expenses after a declared wildfire disaster.”

🛒 Table Mesa King Soopers will be closed on March 22: “Closing the store to honor the tragic loss of life and to provide our associates space to process their emotions as they continue to navigate the healing process allows us to continue to deliver on our commitment to support our associates and our community as we all heal and grieve together,” King Soopers President Joe Kelley said in a press release.

Top Story

‘Where are the buses?’: Boulder neighborhood built for public transit could lose services

Buses once zipped in and out of the Depot Square Station near 30th and Pearl on the east side of Boulder. The underground bus station was the heart of Boulder Junction Transit Village, a fast-growing neighborhood built to accommodate fewer cars and more public transit. 

But in April 2020, when the Regional Transportation District (RTD) slashed services across the Front Range in response to the Covid-19 pandemic, the bus station closed. Two years later, it remains unclear when the buses for which the neighborhood was named will return. 

As part of its future service plan, RTD has proposed restoring just one of the five bus routes that had served the Boulder Junction bus stop before the pandemic. The bus station opened in 2015. 

It is proposing to reinstate the FF4, which connects the bus station to Civic Center Station in downtown Denver as part of its Flatiron Flyer service, and suspend the FF6 to Union Station, AB2 to the Denver International Airport, and the 236 and 206 to South Boulder. 

The loss of bus services could deal a blow to residents who moved into the neighborhood with the hopes of having access to the bus. Residents who live in the area submitted more than a dozen comments on RTD’s proposed service plan. One asked, “Where are the buses?”

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BRL Picks

🎷 Women in Jazz. That’s the subject of a series presented by CU Boulder’s Center for Inclusion and Social Change, exploring the many significant contributions of women in what was once considered the “man’s world” of jazz music. The program kicks off with a March 29 performance from master flutist and jazz historian Galen Abdur-Razzaq. Register for the virtual event here.

🥶 Frozen Dead Guy Days. After a two-year hiatus due to the Covid-19 pandemic, Boulder County’s most offbeat festival returns to Nederland on March 18 for three days of live music, food, craft beer and off-the-wall fun. Inspired by the unusual saga of Bredo Morstøl, whose body has been cryogenically frozen inside a Nederland backyard shed since 1993, festivities include coffin races, a costumed polar plunge, icy turkey bowling and more.

📝 Grant proposal applications open. Community Foundation Boulder County is currently accepting applications for youth-driven grant proposals focused on Marshall Fire aid and youth mental health, as part of the foundation’s 15 Forever program. Check out the request for proposals, and submit yours here.

COVID Updates: March 16, 2022

  • 50 daily new cases (7-day avg.)  Down 14% over preceding 7-day avg.
  • 7 patients hospitalized with Covid (7-day avg.) Down from avg. of 40 since July 2020.
  • 54% percent of ICU is occupied. Down from avg. of 71% since July 2020.
  • Farewell fairgrounds site. Free testing and vaccine sites at the Boulder County Fairgrounds will close at the end of March. Statewide, Colorado is planning to transition all vaccine administration back to traditional healthcare settings by the end of the month. Mobile vaccine clinics will continue to serve residents through at least June 30.

What We’re Reading

📖 When affordable housing isn’t affordable. Denver residents Omar Reyes and Katie Dunn began looking for a home within their budget after years of renting. “Between what Dunn was making as a therapist and adjunct instructor and what Reyes was making as a teacher, they qualified [for the Denver Affordable Homeownership Program], albeit barely.” [Denverite]

📖 First statewide prison radio station hits Colorado airwaves. “The station launched earlier this month with the help of the University of Denver’s Prison Arts Initiative. It is broadcast from men’s prisons in Limon and Sterling, and Denver’s Women’s Correctional Facility.” [CPR News]

ICYMI from BRL

🔥 Former FEMA director, famously criticized for his response to Hurricane Katrina, sues Boulder County for its handling of the Marshall Fire. Michael D. Brown alleges the county violated open meeting laws when it awarded a bid for a debris removal contract. The county says the process was ‘competitive.’

🇺🇦 ‘It could have been me’: A Ukrainian-American in Boulder County watches war unfold from over 5,000 miles away. Longmont resident Valeria Schweiger talks about processing grief, stress and fear as violence engulfs her native Ukraine.

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Our journalism depends on you.
Have a story tip for us?
Send us your ideas at tips@boulderreportinglab.org.

– The BRL Team

Jezy J. Gray

I’m the managing editor of the Boulder Reporting Lab. In addition to years of writing on the culture, politics and history of my home state of Oklahoma, I was the final editor-in-chief of the Tulsa Voice, a local bi-weekly newspaper where I led a small but mighty team of journalists to regional and national honors in feature writing, diversity reporting, LGBTQ+ coverage and more. I look forward to listening to and learning from the Boulder community as we work together on telling the stories that matter here.