Glenwood considers roundabout at Devereux and Highway 6 intersection
Call it circular logic, or maybe cutting corners: The city of Glenwood Springs is looking more and more to roundabouts as a possible solution to problem intersections.The latest candidate is the junction of Devereux Road and Highway 6. City officials are considering a roundabout there, in tandem with realigning Traver Trail so it also meets Highway 6 at the same point. Traver Trail now connects with Highway 6 just west of Devereux.The first roundabouts to come to Glenwood Springs were the ones installed at the Interstate 70 exit in West Glenwood last year. The city also is leaning toward building a roundabout at Midland Avenue and 27th Street.Roundabouts are an option included in the traffic-calming plan adopted by the city last year, and the new city engineer, Mike McDill, is an unabashed fan of them, considering them safer than traffic lights.However, city officials and Roger Neal of High Country Engineering, which is working with the city on the Devereux Road project, were careful at a public open house at the Ramada Inn Tuesday not to identify their preferences for dealing with the intersection. Instead, they wanted to hear what others thought of several options being considered.One would involve installing a traffic light, which is cheaper than a roundabout but can handle less traffic.Two roundabouts being consideredTwo standard roundabout plans are being considered. One of them includes an extended median heading east past Linden Street, which would prevent eastbound motorists from turning onto Linden and using residential streets to get to Highway 82. However, that would limit Linden’s usefulness as an alternate route if the major intersection at Sixth and Laurel streets were closed in an emergency.A last alternative involves building an oblong-shaped roundabout (an oval-about?) that would allow Traver Trail to keep its current alignment. But it also would require westbound motorists trying to get onto Devereux to have to go slightly further west and then backtrack.Tuesday’s open house drew representatives of Glenwood businesses as well as area residents. Several were more concerned about congestion at Sixth and Laurel than Highway 6 and Devereux. But McDill said that’s a state intersection rather than a city one, and thus the Colorado Department of Transportation’s responsibility.”It’s kind of up to CDOT, who has no money to deal with that,” McDill said.Pedestrian issues consideredOpen house participants also were about as concerned with the difficulties faced by pedestrians in that area as with the backups for motorists.John Lindsey, owner of Big John’s Building & Home Center on Devereux Road, and Village Inn manager Ted Churchill both suggested a pedestrian underpass at Devereux and Highway 6 to help those who are heading between the tramway going to Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park and the hotel rooms on Highway 6.McDill said roundabouts tend to be fairly pedestrian-friendly because those on foot deal with motorists heading only in one direction.Churchill said Village Inn also is willing to give up parking space for use in building a pedestrian bridge across Laurel to Glenwood I-70 Amoco. That would not only help pedestrians but improve traffic flow through the congested intersection there, he said.The Devereux/Highway 6 roundabout would have a single lane, which would handle at least 16,000 cars a day and would be adequate for the next 20 years based on current projections for traffic growth. It could be expanded to two lanes then.But John Buxman, owner of the Springs Theatre in downtown Glenwood Springs, said a double-lane roundabout now seemed to make more sense, to keep traffic from having to stop.In an interview, Lindsey said he likes the idea of a roundabout at the intersection, which he said needs to be improved.”Between the pedestrian traffic and the vehicle traffic, it’s a tough intersection during rush hour,” he said.
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