Transportation Planning Projects

The 2019 Transportation Master Plan (TMP) Update is underway! Participate in our Question of the Month, and check back here for future opportunities to share your feedback and shape the 2019 TMP Update.

The 2019 Transportation Master Plan (TMP) Update is underway! Participate in our Question of the Month, and check back here for future opportunities to share your feedback and shape the 2019 TMP Update.

Question of the Month: Traffic Signals

Almost half of all traffic collisions in Boulder occur at intersections. To help pedestrians, cyclists and drivers move safely and efficiently, the city has about 150 traffic signals.

Changes to how traffic signals work can help make intersections safer. At the same time, slowing down traffic can have unintended consequences, like causing people to seek alternate routes on neighborhood side streets, or even frustrating drivers to the point where they may make bad decisions.

The city is currently updating its traffic signal policies and wants to inform and seek feedback from the community about potential changes.

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Pedestrian Head-Start Signals

Pedestrian head-start signals give pedestrians a walk signal for a few seconds before cars get a green light. This head-start (also known as a “leading pedestrian interval”) can help drivers turning right or left see pedestrians so that they don’t turn into them. City of Boulder transportation engineers are considering installing additional pedestrian head-start signals, particularly at intersections where multiple crashes have occurred over the past few years or where there is a high volume of pedestrian and cycling traffic. Usually, pedestrians would have to push a button to activate the head-start.

While walking in Boulder, how much safer would if you feel if you could start crossing the street before cars get a green light?
As a person walking, biking or driving, do you think the benefits of the pedestrian head-start are worth less green time for drivers at these intersections?

Left-turn Signals

Left-turn signals can be: • Protected only—you can only turn when you have a green arrow, • Permitted only—you have to wait for a break in oncoming traffic and in the crosswalk to turn (these are signaled by a flashing yellow arrow or green circle), or • Protected/permitted—there is both a permissive period and a protected period (for example, green arrow followed by a flashing yellow arrow). About 20 percent of collisions that result in seriously injury or fatality in Boulder are associated with permitted left-turns at traffic signals. City of Boulder transportation engineers are considering making more left turns protected-only during certain times of the day to address safety concerns. However, the time provided for protected left turns will come from the green time for cars moving straight through the intersection. This could increase the wait time at intersections.

As a person walking, biking or driving, do you think the benefits of protected left-turns are worth less green time for vehicles moving straight through the intersection?