Development could bring two roundabouts to Carbondale | PostIndependent.com

Development could bring two roundabouts to Carbondale

John Stroudjstroud@postindependent.comGlenwood Springs, CO Colorado

CARBONDALE, Colorado Roundabouts at two key intersections on Highway 133 could be part of Carbondales traffic management future, especially if the proposed new Village at Crystal River mixed-use development gains approval.An alternative to stoplights thats catching on in many communities could provide a more long-term solution to managing traffic flow along the main entrance into Carbondale, Lee Barger of the engineering firm Schmueser Gordon Meyer advised town council members at a work session last week.Roundabouts are being studied for the Highway 133 intersections at Industry Place (next to the Roaring Fork Valley Co-op), as well as one block to the south at Nieslanik Road, where the main entrance to the Village at Crystal River (former Crystal River Marketplace) is proposed.Property owner/developer Rich Schierburg, when discussing the options at a town Planning and Zoning Commission meeting last Thursday, did not indicate a strong preference for either traffic signals or roundabouts.P&Z continued the public hearing for the Village proposal until May 7.Schierburgs plans for the 24-acre site call for 125,000 square feet of commercial space, including a 60,000-square-foot grocery store anchor, plus 16,000 square feet of office space and as many as 300 residential units.Although the town has long preferred that the main entrance to the new development be at Industry Place, the developer prefers the more central Nieslanik Road intersection as the primary entrance.Access to the development would be provided at both intersections, as well as from Main Street opposite Hendrick Drive. The town is also working on a plan to extend Industry Place to Eighth Street, providing another traffic outlet from the center of town to the highway.The dual roundabout solution could be the better way to avoid backups at the intersections and keep traffic moving, Barger said.While a stoplight is projected to be an adequate solution for only about five or six years as the new development is built out, single-lane roundabouts would serve the towns needs for about 15-20 years. They could also eventually be expanded to two lanes each, he said.We have an opportunity to take what we know from other communities where roundabouts have been built, and do what works best here, Barger said.Mayor Michael Hassig agreed that roundabouts would be the way to go, and said its a design thats more in line with the recommendations of a highway corridor master plan that was developed by citizens in the 1990s.People dont perceive it as a delay, because traffic keeps moving, Hassig said. I think the two-roundabout solution also solves some of the problems we have brought up with the developer.Contact John Stroud: 384-9160jstroud@postindependent.com


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