Bright idea: Pedestrian light at 24th & Colorado

       A new type of light to help pedestrians cross the busy 24th Street and Colorado Avenue intersection may be on the way.
       City Traffic Engineering Director Scott Logan told the advisory committee for the Old Colorado City Security & Maintenance District that if he can come up with about $15,000 (it's not in his budget now) he could get the light installed in about two months.
       At their meeting Sept. 3, the City Council-appointed committee's members (who are required to be property owners in Old Colorado City) explained to Logan and staffer Rob Helt that they are increasingly worried about speeding on the avenue and how dangerous it can be to cross the avenue at that location. “We get a tremendous amount of pedestrian traffic,” committee member John Georgeson said. “People are dodging cars all the time.”
       In a report for the committee, Kathy Read, who has run her business in Old Colorado City for 23 years, lists numerous demands on the intersection - such as the summertime weekly Farmers' Market, tour bus parking, traffic related to large nearby businesses and special events at Bancroft Park throughout the year.
       Jim Heikes, also president of the Old Colorado City Associates (OCCA) merchants group, presented a petition with signatures from 70 business people stating “that something needs to be done,” he said.
       The light would be installed on the west side of the 24th-and-Colorado intersection. Pushing a button would produce immediate red flashing for oncoming cars, so that pedestrians could safely cross the street. The concept is based on an effective system in the City of Boulder, Logan and Helt reported.
       The committee has previously asked for a full stoplight - or even a crosswalk - at 24th and Colorado, but without success. They have been told that there are already two nearby mid-block lights - at Colbrunn Court and Goodwill Industries - however, their rejoinder is that because those lights are usually green, motorists tend to speed through Old Colorado City to be sure they make them.
       The committee response to the city pedestrian-light idea was favorable. “I think that would be fabulous,” Heikes said, cheerfully expressing Old Town's readiness to be a “trial area” for the city. He also noted that the OCCA has “seven events in the next four months” and expressed hope of having the unit operational at least by Christmas.
       Greg Warnke, city administration's liaison to the advisory committee, volunteered to look in the city budget for the needed money to pay for the light. He also plans to set up a “speed trailer” (the roadside device that shows speeds of oncoming drivers) to check how fast traffic really goes through Old Colorado City.

Westside Pioneer article