City traffic problems descend uponnorth Glenwood neighborhood
Residents of a north Glenwood Springs neighborhood they prize for its relative peace and quiet are discovering there’s no getting away from the city’s traffic problems.People living north of the Hotel Colorado and Village Inn say they are facing a crunch of speeding motorists using their streets as an alternative around the busy intersection at Sixth and Laurel, at Glenwood’s main exit off Interstate 70.They also deal with the occasional 18-wheeler that has gotten off-route while on Highway 82, and ends up trapped on one of their steep and narrow lanes.The neighborhood’s traffic travails provide another example of the problem facing residents of Glenwood’s side streets because of its congested main traffic arteries.Floyd Diemoz said he is guilty himself of cutting through the neighborhood’s back streets to get to and from his home there, in order to avoid the Sixth and Laurel intersection.”I do it. I just don’t want to wait for that four or five minutes,” he said.Dean Moffatt can watch from his home high up on Second Street as commuter traffic backs up onto Interstate 70, Sixth Street and Midland Avenue and can understand why motorists try to use his neighborhood instead.”You get to sympathize with these people who are cutting through. They’re frustrated,” he said.The situation in Moffatt’s neighborhood is like that in other parts of town, such as on Blake Avenue, which motorists use as an alternative to Grand at rush hour.To Moffatt and Diemoz, the ultimate solution is to build a bypass through Glenwood for use by commuters.But in the short term, they and their neighbors want the city to give them some relief and improve their neighborhood’s safety. Around 30 residents met with city officials last week to discuss some steps that could be taken to deal with the problems.Among their ideas is to install speed bumps and stop signs or yield signs, put up signs saying no trucks, and make Linden Avenue, which connects the neighborhood to Highway 6 and West Glenwood, one-way so its usefulness to commuters is cut in half.City engineer Mike McDill said the Colorado Department of Transportation also has experimented with signal sequencing at Sixth and Laurel to try to reduce backups there, with limited success.Police Chief Terry Wilson told residents the traffic snarl there contributes to traffic congestion elsewhere in town.”It’s kind of the epicenter of the knot of our traffic problem,” he said.Residents in the area also would like better police enforcement of traffic laws. But Wilson said police have only enough resources to deal with traffic hot spots in neighborhoods.”Enforcement in any residential area right now is catch as catch can,” he said.Residents were more sympathetic toward truckers than commuters. They said truck drivers make a simple mistake when they go north on Pine Street by the Hotel Colorado. The truckers either think they are on Highway 82, or have taken a wrong turn and are trying to backtrack to Interstate 70.Truckers head up increasingly steep hills, can’t go any further on the narrow streets and have trouble turning around, and their vehicles sometimes nearly jackknife or overturn. Darrell Stanley said truckers have hit one of his apricot trees three times.”We have to do something to warn them not to go up there,” he said.McDill said the city’s traffic-calming committee will review residents’ suggestions for dealing with their traffic problems and present a plan to the neighborhood for further input.”It’s something that we will get right on,” he said.Contact Dennis Webb: 945-8515, ext. email@example.com
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UPDATE: Both westbound lanes and one eastbound lane of Interstate 70, according to a 12:20 a.m. update from Garfield County.