CDOT Hwy 24 team raises objections
       The members of the US 24 West project team would like to correct some statements made in the Westside Pioneer's “Editor's Desk” column and in the article, “CDOT nixes at-grade intersection at 21st” in the December 14, 2006 issue.
       In the column, the Pioneer claimed that CDOT and the consultant team did not study the idea of the Broadway Street extension through Gold Hill Mesa as proposed in the Westsiders' Plan. In fact, the extension was studied in several different ways. It was studied to learn if it would act as a bypass to US 24; it was studied to learn if it would take trips off at 8th or 15th and over to 21st Street to go south; and it was studied to learn its effect on left-turning traffic at the US 24 and 21st Street intersection.
       What we learned was the Broadway extension provides an alternate route for commuters in and out of Gold Hill Mesa. What the Broadway extension does not do is attract through trips from US 24 and it does not reroute enough left-turning cars at 21st Street to reduce the number of westbound-to-southbound left-turn lanes. In fact a four-lane, continuous Broadway extension attracts less than 1 percent of the US 24 peak-hour trips. The Broadway extension simply does not provide enough time or distance savings to move trips away from US 24.
       The community continues to express concerns over the 2030 traffic projections. The traffic numbers are based on forecasting techniques used around the country and certified by the Pikes Peak Area Council of Governments. The traffic projections for 2035, expected in early 2007, will be used to analyze an at-grade intersection at 21st Street and if the necessary level of service is achieved, then the plan would be changed. However, it is unlikely that projected volumes will decline in the 2035 projections.
       Another way to look at it is cost. Intersections can cost $20 million less than interchanges. So if an intersection would work at 21st Street, CDOT would be the first one to champion it because that extra money could be put to use on another project.
       Lastly, the article claims that CDOT's project scope does not include improving 15th Street north to Colorado Avenue.
       The truth is, that decision has not been made at this time. If the plan for US 24 West calls for improvements to that stretch of 15th Street in order to improve local circulation, it would be included in the scope of the project.

Bob Mora
CDOT Project Manager
US 24 West

Editor's note: In a follow-up phone interview, Mora elaborated that "the scope of the project" regarding 15th Street could require city funding as well.

McFarland evoked potato chip smells
       Mel McFarland's “Potato chips and cameras” column (in the Dec. 14 Westside Pioneer) really brought back memories. When I was a kid, we lived near the factory. I remember the smells also.
       Another memory is the occasional fire in the factory. We would wake up and watch all the excitement.
       Thank you, Mr. McFarland, for another good memory.

Julie Hartsell