Efforts made to ease afternoon detour crunch | PostIndependent.com

Efforts made to ease afternoon detour crunch

If you're in this afternoon line of traffic on 27th Street and don't live on Midland Avenue south of 8th Street, or in south Glenwood or up Four Mile, you don't belong here! Stay on the Grand Avenue/82 detour. Photo by PI Staff Photographer Chelsea Self

Several suggestions are being made to try to ease the kind of afternoon backups today that made for some serious slow-going through Glenwood Springs Monday evening.

First and foremost, Police Chief Terry Wilson said motorists heading through the main part of town to West Glenwood and points beyond should stay on the designated detour route. For those heading north and then west through Glenwood, they are to take Grand Avenue until Eighth Street, turn left on Eighth and then right on Midland Avenue to the  Interstate 70 Exit 114 interchange.

“Whatever didn’t work yesterday for people is unlikely to work today, or to work any better tomorrow or any other day for the next 94 days,” Wilson said of the gridlock that occurred on Midland Avenue between 27th and Eighth streets where people were trying to skirt the detour.

Instead of hand-directing traffic at Eighth and Midland, traffic signals are being allowed to cycle vehicles through that intersection. Those signals heavily favor the detour route.

“With that we were able to do some tweaking and better sequencing that we think will improve the flow through the detour tonight,” Wilson said.

The other problem area is at the Exit 114 roundabouts, where he said there were a lot of motorists pausing to try to get into the outside lane to get onto westbound I-70.

“The domino effect with people doing that with that kind of volume is significant, and was a big reason we were getting those backups,” Wilson said.

Motorists are advised to use both lanes through the north roundabout, either of which can be used to exit onto I-70, he said.

“Through sheer people power and trying to attack it that way this afternoon, we’ll see if we can encourage a smoother entry into the roundabouts and onto I-70,” Wilson said.

“Even at that, whatever Grand Avenue looked like last night, I can assure you it looked a lot better and was moving a lot smoother than Midland or Blake,” he said of the two routes people were using to try to skirt the detour.

A few other tips:
  • Carpooling to and from work and even sharing rides to the grocery store or other destinations can save traffic headaches. This morning, an estimated five out of every six vehicles had just one occupant.
  • During the morning rush, merge into the right lane on I-70 eastbound as soon as you see the end of the line. The left lane is reserved for through traffic on I-70, emergency vehicles, buses and those headed to Exit 116 to access north Glenwood.
  • If buses are full coming from western Garfield County, standby ones will be implemented to transport riders.

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