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Glenwood transit hub focus of open house

GLENWOOD SPRINGS, Colorado – Long-distance travelers and valley commuters alike would be able to make their transit connections at a central transportation hub currently being planned for a site to be determined in Glenwood Springs.

The project is part of the Roaring Fork Transportation Authority’s “VelociRFTA” Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) implementation. The plan will greatly expand the valley bus system between Aspen and western Garfield County in the coming years.

But a transit hub is also a concept that has been envisioned going at least as far back as the city of Glenwood Springs’ 2003 Confluence Plan, and the more-recent 2030 Long Range Transportation Plan.



“This would be a facility used to connect multiple modes of transportation, from bus and passenger rail to bicycles, pedestrians and car and van poolers,” said Glenwood Springs Transportation Manager Rosa Silver.

“These types of facilities have proven to be very successful in other places, and enable the community and visitors to transfer easily between multiple transportation modes,” she said.



Late last year, a local working group that included representatives from city staff, RFTA, Colorado Mountain College and the Colorado Department of Transportation began meeting to start evaluating nine potential sites for such a facility.

Also participating were representatives from Greyhound bus lines and the Amtrak passenger rail service, both of which pass through Glenwood Springs daily.

Possible station locations include three sites scattered along Wulfsohn Road and Midland Avenue west of the Glenwood Meadows development, and another one north of Interstate 70 at Soccer Road and Highway 6 in West Glenwood.

Potential downtown locations that have been initially evaluated include the existing Amtrak station, the area beneath the Grand Avenue Bridge, the old wastewater treatment plant site on Seventh Street, and the existing parking lot area west of City Hall on Eighth Street. Another site is near the Glenwood Springs Municipal Airport.

Some of the identified sites already have major strikes or even “fatal flaws” working against them, while others have been viewed more favorably based on the initial study.

For instance, some have more area for parking and related facilities, and are closer to existing transit lines. Some are also already publicly owned, while others are on private property that would need to be acquired.

A full copy of the draft study can be found on the city’s website, at http://www.cogs.us.

The initial findings will also be presented at a pair of open houses next Tuesday, Feb. 7 (see box).

The preliminary report also evaluates the priorities for what should be at the facility itself. That includes whether to offer access to all modes under one roof, or provide connections to existing facilities, Silver said.

The facility itself may also include offices for both public and private transit providers, storage areas, parking and other amenities.

The draft study report points out that State Highway 82 through Glenwood Springs is the state’s most congested highway, with a summer average daily traffic volume of more than 35,000 vehicles.

“Hence, connecting multiple modes of transportation through a multi-modal facility is a critical part of the solution to the area’s growing traffic congestion and contributes to the city’s economy and vitality,” the report states.

Added Silver, “This is something that will be very vital for our community, because we do have a lot of issues with transportation.

“We need to make sure we build the facilities necessary to address those issues, and we want to know what the public thinks about where this type of facility should go,” Silver said. “The open house is the first part of the process to get everyone’s input.”

In addition to the various transportation providers, the city is working with LSC Transportation Consultants to guide the study.

Following next week’s open house, the working group will prepare a final report and recommend a site for the transit center. A second open house is anticipated in May or June, according to Silver.

jstroud@postindependent.com


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