CARBONDALE, Colorado - Town trustees will take their first look tonight at a possible new design for the controversial roundabout planned for the intersection of Main Street and Highway 133.
"We agree this is an excellent location for a roundabout," stated a memorandum from Dan Burden, a principal of the Walkable and Liveable Communities Institute (WALC), based in Port Townsend, Wash.
The town recently hired the institute and a "roundabout expert," Michael Wallwork of Florida, to review the idea of a roundabout and come back with ideas about how it can be built to suit Carbondale's needs.
The roundabout is part of a broader set of improvements, including access controls and some widening of the road, that has been planned by the town and the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT).
If completed according to current plans, the overall project is expected to cost more than $4 million, most of which is to come from CDOT.
Although the memo from Burden supports the idea of a Main Street roundabout, as a way to free up congestion at the intersection, Wallwork's supplemental memo questions the advisability of the current plans for an "offset left" roundabout design.
This current, two-lane design, Wallwork wrote, tends to slow traffic as it comes into the roundabout, "but encourages high exit speed and often high right-turn speeds at the pedestrian crossings," which could make things difficult for pedestrians and bicyclists.
Wallwork recommends an alternative design, which calls for one which he terms a "radial" design, that he believes will better meet the town's need.
In his memo, Wallwork maintains that the radial design can better handle anticipated traffic volumes through 2032, will provide better movement of pedestrians and bicyclists, and will offer greater ease of movement for nearby businesses and intersecting streets such as Colorado Avenue.
The trustees also will discuss several liquor licenses for businesses and special events; bids to install an irrigation system for the planned Community Garden adjacent to the Third Street Center, elements of the proposed Green Commercial Building Code, and review of a waste water plant sludge study.
The meeting is to begin at 6 p.m., and the public is invited to attend.