Boulder has a residential population density greater than Denver – and is 40% more dense than peer cities like Palo Alto, California and Madison, Wisconsin. Still, there are calls by some for much greater density in Boulder. The public debate about increasing Boulder’s density has been emotional and rife with misinformation. A comprehensive analysis of the facts surrounding density and growth in Boulder is desperately needed. This PLAN-Boulder County report examines density and growth from four important aspects: regional transportation, greenhouse gas generation, adequate public services, and affordable housing.
When you shop, you may visit a mall, or go to your town’s main street. At the mall, you probably cruise past rows and rows of empty parking, the spaces filled only one day a year. Maybe you head downtown, but can only find vacant storefronts. And where things are bustling, you can’t find convenient parking near the stores you want to visit. All three of these scenarios represent a “parking problem” that has a negative impact on other community goals. At the mall, overbuilt parking consumes land and wastes money. Downtown, storefronts may sit empty because new businesses that would like to move in can’t meet high parking requirements – and too little parking makes good businesses less viable.