Traffic flow a likely issue when 30th Street reconstruction project begins in about 2 years
So how will such vehicles - not to mention the public at large - get through during the roughly 18 months required for the project between Fontanero Street and Mesa Road?
District 1 City Council-member Don Knight asked this basic question June 14 at City Engineering's first open house on the recommended upgrades.
The answer? “We haven't fleshed out those details,” responded Robin Allen, the city project manager. But she hopes a full closure won't be necessary. “We want to keep the traffic flowing,” she said.
The widening won't add lanes. The 5 feet of new roadway on either side will carve out room for bicycles and for cars to pull over for emergency vehicles or to use as a breakdown lane.
Some of that segment of 30th bypasses the Pleasant Valley subdivision, but most of it runs next to the scenic Rock Ledge Ranch Historic Site and Garden of the Gods city park.
The advertised purpose of the meeting was to “provide an overview of the project, address questions and obtain public input on the recommended alternative.” Allen estimated that the design process would take another year, with work on the roadway probably starting in 2020.
A major traffic-impacts challenge will be posed by the project's planned roundabout at 30th Street and Gateway Road. Both streets are busy. 30th is the only direct route west of I-25 between Colorado Avenue and northwest Colorado Springs, and Gateway is the main access into the Garden of the Gods, used annually by millions of visitors.
Construction could involve flaggers, a temporary signal, building half the roundabout at a time or “maybe people could use other park entrances,” suggested Tim Roberts, the city traffic engineer who wrote the successful 30th Street grant request.
Featuring numerous posters - each displaying project-related graphics and details - the open house was attended by 50-some people in the Holmes Middle School cafeteria. There was also a roughly hour-long presentation, in which Allen and project consultants brought out additional slides/posters.
Project issues include the following:
A stoplight was considered, but it didn't meet what are called “warrants,” based on such concerns as accident numbers and delay issues, Roberts has previously pointed out. He also thinks a roundabout could be landscaped to fit in with the natural beauty of the adjacent Garden of the Gods.
Not all the meeting attendees were convinced about the roundabout solution, with questions raised about pedestrian safety and visibility for drivers.
The extrapolated values include a stakeholder wish for safety, functionality, a continued “rural feel,” preservation of natural beauty and a currently lacking “sense of arrival” as motorists approach the Garden on 30th.
Westside Pioneer article