Glenwood Springs City Council votes to study downtown traffic controls |

Glenwood Springs City Council votes to study downtown traffic controls

Kelley Cox Post Independent

GLENWOOD SPRINGS, Colorado – Possible additional stop signs or other traffic-calming measures will be studied for six downtown Glenwood Springs intersections, including a couple that are busy school crossings.

“The issue goes toward whether Glenwood Springs values pedestrian safety more than automobiles, and how fast to get people through town,” city councilman Todd Leahy said at the Aug. 18 Glenwood Spring City Council meeting.

Leahy, who lives in the downtown area and represents Ward 3, would like for the city’s special “traffic calming group” to study several intersections where he believes extra stop signs are needed.

“I’d like to see us go through the process to find some ways to make those intersections safer,” he said.

In particular, Leahy has suggested four-way stop, instead of the current two-way stops, at the intersections of both Eighth and Ninth streets and Bennett Avenue, as well as 10th and Blake and 10th and Pitkin.

The two latter intersections are often busy with school children crossing to and from Glenwood Springs Elementary School in the morning and afternoon during the school year, he noted.

The one closest to the school currently has a flashing light warning motorists on Pitkin Avenue of the presence of children during the before- and after-school hours and to yield. However, there is not a stop sign requiring people to stop.

Leahy would also like to see the intersections of Seventh Street at Colorado and Cooper avenues become three-way stops. Currently, only motorists turning onto Seventh from Colorado and Cooper must stop.

The intersections are typically busy with pedestrians during the height of the summer tourism season and on holiday weekends, he said.

Council agreed on a 6-0 vote to have the situation looked at by city staff, which will report back with its findings and recommendations.

Council was less receptive to Leahy’s idea to provide for extended parking permits for downtown business owners that have a delivery aspect to their business.

The permits would allow delivery vehicles to remain in spaces in two-hour parking zones for longer than the usually permitted time, and avoid the “two-hour shuffle,” he said.

Such permits are offered for residents who live along streets where the two-hour parking restriction is in effect during the daytime hours. A similar provision should be allowed for delivery businesses, Leahy said.

Council member Mike Gamba suggested that Leahy’s proposal be considered in the context of the city’s broader downtown parking policy discussions in the future.

In other business at its Aug. 18 meeting, City Council:

• Approved an ordinance establishing local licensing procedures and guidelines for medical marijuana businesses. The decision came on a 5-1 vote following a philosophical discussion about the city’s role in regulating such businesses. Concerns were expressed by YouthZone board member Mary Rippy about the impacts of medical marijuana businesses in town on youth. Rippy suggested a community forum to discuss the issue before the city adopted anymore regulations. Read more about this discussion in the Post Independent later this week.

• Appointed Lin Stickler as a regular member on the Glenwood Springs Planning and Zoning Commission, and John Lavey as an alternate. Council also appointed Adam Sobke to fill a vacancy on the city Parks and Recreation Commission.

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