Paul’s Story - Mixing Modes for Livability
[Story collected in a personal interview. Paul is a member of the City of Boulder's Pedestrian Advisory Committee.]
I’m really interested in understanding different forms of mobility and how we can get away from always being dependent on the car. I’m a civil engineer, and I’ve always had an interest in the environment and healthy living. That’s one of the reasons I moved to Boulder from Minnesota four years ago – it’s hard to be unhealthy here. I hike at Mt. Sanitas and Chautauqua often, and I love how you can go from the city to the wilderness so quickly here.
I like to walk a lot, but I still have to use my car. I live in Gunbarrel. I think we should have better park and rides to let people leave their cars on the perimeter of downtown. If I tried to take the bus downtown to work, it would take me a long time – the buses just aren’t convenient. I would even like to park farther away and use an electric scooter like they have in Denver. I also think we could do a better job transitioning from the Pearl Street pedestrian mall to the car-dominated areas. We could add more street furniture on the sides, add pinch points to reduce lanes of traffic, put in more park-and-ride areas to reduce the number of cars downtown. How can we make it easier to create safe streets for everybody?
I used to always want to get the closest parking spot wherever I went, but now I’m actively taking more steps. My company is sponsoring a walking contest and donating money to a charity – that has inspired me to walk a little further recently.