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Powers Boulevard usurps West Uintah Street in city transportation priorities

       In 2012, West Uintah Street was added to the city's Transportation Improvement Plan (TIP). A major focus was the problematic Uintah Gardens shopping center access east of 19th Street, where Uintah narrows because of the steep dropoff on the south side of the road, by Rick's Nursery.
       TIP projects are those in the region that are eligible for funding when money becomes available. For Uintah, the TIP estimate was $2.4 million, of which $1.9 million would be federal funds.
       A public meeting was held in March 2012, with city transportation planners
Because Uintah Street narrows at the Uintah Gardens access, there's no room for a center lane to ease left-turn exits from the center. City Transportation agrees this is a problem, but currently has no funding to address it.
Westside Pioneer photo
saying more would follow. But they never did. Asked about it at the time, planners explained that other city transportation issues were taking precedence.
       That situation became certain March 11 when the Pikes Peak Area Council of Governments (PPACG) voted to remove West Uintah from the TIP altogether. The removal was necessary to make space for a more urgent need on Powers Boulevard, as defined by City Transportation Manager Kathleen Krager, in conjunction with a widening project by the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT).
       Asked what this means for Uintah going forward, Krager said that she and her staff have not forgotten about the shopping center access. However, “there's no easy answer,” she said, referring to the narrower road/dropoff there. Appointed city transportation manager in 2012, Krager described the location as one of several she inherited in the city where “You wonder, 'How could they leave it like that?'”
       In any case, it can't be said that the city has ignored West Uintah of late. Two city projects - one recently finished and the other close to starting - have a combined value of about half a million dollars. One was in 2013, using Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) and Pikes Peak Rural Transportation Authority (RTA) funds, making room for a sidewalk on the north side of Uintah between Walnut Street and Mesa Road and improving the drainage at Mesa and Uintah. The other, planned this spring or early summer, will use a federal grant and city funds to install street signs and stripe the pavement for sharrows and bike lanes between Mesa and 30th Street, according to Mike Chaves of City Engineering.

Westside Pioneer article
(Posted 3/12/15; Transportation: Major Roads)

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