Carbondale trustees reject a county proposal to revise Access Control Plan |

Carbondale trustees reject a county proposal to revise Access Control Plan

John Colson
Post Independent Staff
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado

CARBONDALE, Colorado – Officials here have rejected a proposal from Garfield County aimed at rewriting parts of the recently adopted Highway 133 Access Control Plan to satisfy demands from residents of the Satank neighborhood. The neighborhood is located in the county and falls under the jurisdiction of county government, not the Carbondale city government.

According to Public Works Director Larry Ballenger and state highway planner Dan Roussin, the county wants the town to accede to a rerouting of Dolores Way, to send traffic from Satank on a new road through part of the newly rebuilt Roaring Fork Transportation Authority’s (RFTA) Bus Rapid Transit park and ride facility.

The new street would connect from the west to Highway 133, at or next to the present entrance to the park-and-ride area, at an existing four-way intersection and traffic signal controlling the bus lot and Village Road, which meets the highway from the east.

But, as noted by Carbondale Mayor Stacey Bernot, “The Village Road option has been a nonstarter for RFTA,” because the agency opposes new traffic crossings of the Rio Grande Trail, which used to carry the Denver and Rio Grande Western Railroad.

Since it bought the old railroad right of way in 1997, RFTA has preserved the right of way not just for bicycle and pedestrian use, but also for the possibility of future passenger train travel up and down the valley.

The proposed revisions to the access control plan arose at a special Jan. 22 meeting between Satank residents and Garfield County Commissioner John Martin, who offered to meet with RFTA officials to work out an agreement that would accommodate the desires of Satank, according to Ballenger and Roussin.

Bernot was visibly irritated by Martin’s proposal and said the meeting with Satank was held at a time when no Carbondale trustees could be present because they were all at a town board meeting.

“I just don’t like how it was handled,” she declared at the trustees meeting.

She said one argument against changing the access control plan in this way is that it could open it up to other challenges from residents unhappy with one aspect of the plan or another.

Roussin, who said he could accept the proposal from Martin as an option that may or may not be realized, at one point assured the trustees, “You’re not going to put a road through a parking lot.”

The trustees voted 6-1, with Trustee John Hoffmann dissenting, to reject the proposed amendment of the access control plan.

Roussin and Ballenger said they would take the matter up with Garfield County again and come back to the Carbondale council when they had done so.

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