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Transportation study yields traffic, safety improvements for Old/Near North End neighborhoods

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COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – Several traffic improvements are underway in the Old/Near North End neighborhoods following a series of public meetings designed to address transportation and safety concerns expressed by residents.

The following actions will be implemented to enhance safety for all roadway users (pedestrians, motorists and bicyclists) and were developed using engineering best practices combined with public input:

Reduce speed limit

To address residents’ concerns about unsafe speeds in residential areas, traffic engineering proposed the following:

  • Speed limits for arterial streets will be reduced from 35 to 30 mph (Nevada, Cascade, Weber, Uintah, Wahsatch and Fontanero)
  • Speed limits for local streets will be reduced from 30 to 25 mph (Wood and Tejon)

New speed limit signs will be posted as soon as weather permits. In addition to reducing the speed limits throughout the area, the City will continue to review engineering best practices that can be implemented to redesign the roadways to encourage motorists to drive the new speed limit, thereby increasing safety for all roadway users and better managing traffic flow.

Remove truck route on Nevada Avenue

To address concerns about heavy truck traffic and noise on residential streets, traffic engineering proposed removing the designated truck route on Nevada Avenue to prevent them from using this and neighboring streets without a delivery destination in the area. Change of designated truck routes must be presented to the Citizens Transportation Advisory Board (CTAB), Truck Route Committee and to City Council for final approval. Anticipated timeline for approval is Spring 2018.

Add center turn-lane on Uintah Street between Corona and Weber streets

To improve the level of service for traffic on Uintah Street, the inside travel lane of westbound Uintah between Corona and Weber streets will be restriped to create a center left-turn lane to access Corona Street, Wahsatch Avenue and Weber Avenue and their mid-block alley ways. The center turn lane will improve thru-traffic flow and reduce congestion. Timeline: early Summer 2018.

Improve safety at Wood Avenue/Uintah Street intersection

To prevent illegal left turns at the Wood Avenue/Uintah Street intersection, vertical delineators have been installed in the center of Uintah Street at Wood Avenue.

Install Bicycle Infrastructure

The need for north/south and east/west bicycle connections throughout the neighborhood and into downtown was identified through public input and cited in the Experience Downtown Master Plan. At the January pedestrian safety and bicycle infrastructure meeting residents provided input on options for locations for future bicycle infrastructure in the neighborhoods.

Following established bike infrastructure criteria, impact on level of service and public input, the following corridors were selected for new bicycle facilities:

  • Cascade Avenue will be restriped with one through lane, a buffered bike lane, and parking in each direction between Boulder and Jackson streets. This design change will improve pedestrian safety and provide an important bike facility that connects with downtown.  Timeline: early spring 2018.
  • Weber Street between Colorado Avenue and Jackson Street will be restriped to accommodate two through lanes of travel with a center left turn lane, bike lanes and parking. This section of Weber Street will be striped with bike lanes next to the travel lane as the number of driveways does not accommodate a parking protected design. Timeline: TBD in conjunction with future repaving by 2020.
  • Fontanero Street between El Paso Street and Wood Avenue will be restriped to include two travel lanes, a center turn lane and bike lanes. Timeline: 2019

Improve safety on Cascade Avenue

With the changes listed above, Colorado College will reduce the number of crosswalks on Cascade from four crosswalks with flashing lights to two standard crosswalks, and implement a pedestrian safety program for students and staff.  Timeline: early spring 2018.

Reducing travel lanes to one in each direction will facility a safer crossing with less delay for drivers using standard crosswalks as opposed to replacing the flashing automated crosswalks with the pedestrian activated mid-intersection street lights required for streets with four travel lanes (as recently installed on Nevada Avenue south of Uintah Street).

Cascade Avenue was residents’ preferred choice for bicycle facilities in that it addresses pedestrian safety concerns and provides a connection to existing downtown bike infrastructure. Residents favored removing a travel lane over parking spaces with the installation of a bike lane.

The City is also planning a redesign of the Cascade Avenue/Uintah Street intersection that will include a better alignment for right turns. Timeline: Summer 2019.

Review Public Transportation Routes:

To determine if any modifications to routes or bus schedules are necessary, the traffic engineering division and Mountain Metro Transit will review current public transportation routes and usage. Timeline: Spring 2018

Upcoming meetings in spring 2018:

The study continues with future meetings to discuss additional traffic concerns:

  • Neighborhood parking concerns
  • Historic median criteria
  • Pedestrian safety near Steele Elementary School and Corpus Christi School
  • Nevada Avenue transportation concerns

To date, residents have participated in a series of three public meetings to identify transportation challenges in these neighborhoods and review options to create a more pleasant residential neighborhood while accommodating existing and future traffic. The study is ongoing and additional changes may be made as necessary to address resident traffic safety concerns.

Click here for more information about the transportation study and public process.