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Block of Broadway Street closed for long-awaited bump-outs, missing sidewalks

      
A view from the southwest corner of Broadway and Calvert streets (with Midland Elementary in the background) shows the status of the current project Aug. 17, with the new concrete work matching past concept plans for bump-outs at each corner to extend the sidewalk and narrow the pavement crossing distance for pedestrians. For comparison, see the photo below from a similar angle in 2011.
Westside Pioneer photo
As a long-awaited intersection improvement project gets started, the city has closed a block of Broadway Street in both directions between Calvert Avenue and Arch Street.
       The current work site is the Calvert/Broadway intersection, by the southwest corner of the Midland Elementary property, but at some point the focus will shift to the intersection of Broadway and 25th Street, according to City Engineering Manager Mike Chaves.
       Under a city 90-day deadline, the contractor, CMS of Colorado Springs, has until early November to finish all the work, he added.
       The city is aware of the impact on school traffic. Chaves said the city has been talking with CMS to make sure that Broadway is open during morning drop-off and afternoon pick-up times.
       UPDATE, 8/17/16: The city intent had been to have Broadway/Calvert finished before school started Aug. 18. However, this will not be the case. A Colorado Springs Utilities official at the scene Aug. 17 said he knew of streetlight work that will take a day or more to get done. He said that barricades will be put out to warn schoolchildren and other citizens away from the worksite.
       The work at Calvert matches conceptual plans from five years ago - based on plans from five years before that - for concrete sidewalk “bump-outs” at each corner. The same improvements are envisioned at 25th. Some sidewalks on the south side of Broadway will also be built in areas that have none, Chaves said.
       The CMS contract is for $243,000. The main source of funding is a state $229,000 Safe Routes to Schools grant. The difference is being covered by the city's missing-sidewalk fund, Chaves said.
A photo in September 2011, taken from a similar angle as the one above, shows the Broadway/Calvert intersection just after a school day. Note at each corner the "temporary" yellow markers - which were in place for 10 years in all - defining the future bump-outs.
Westside Pioneer file photo

       The bump-outs will shorten the distance for students crossing Broadway to about half of its 50-foot width, states the Safe Routes grant request, which was approved in 2011. The idea, according to the grant program, is to encourage more students to walk to school.
       The intersection improvements were initially scheduled for spring 2012, but the work was delayed. When the Pioneer asked about this in 2014, Chaves said the Colorado Department of Transportation had not finished reviewing the plans.
       The bump-out strategy actually goes back over a decade and is not school-related. It emerged from a 2005 Midland neighborhood complaint to the city about speeders along Broadway. The city had a “traffic calming” program then, which included the premise that bump-outs made streets seem narrower and slowed traffic as a result. A city planner had yellow markers installed at Broadway/Calvert in 2006 to “temporarily” define each corner's bump-out, saying this would test them in traffic before they were cast in concrete. But calming suffered funding cuts, the concrete never came, and the program ended in 2010. The markers remained at the intersection until the current work started.

Westside Pioneer article
(Posted 8/11/16, updated 8/17/16; Transportation: Major Roads)

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