Eye on Grand Avenue could bring about signal changes | PostIndependent.com

Eye on Grand Avenue could bring about signal changes

Timing on traffic signals and pedestrian crossings along Highway 82 as it passes through Glenwood Springs could see some adjustments following recent video monitoring at key intersections.

The Colorado Department of Transportation earlier this month temporarily installed 22 traffic cameras at 13 intersections between the entrance to the Roaring Fork Marketplace and the intersection of Sixth and Laurel.

Those cameras have been removed, and CDOT is waiting for a preliminary report from engineering consultants in the next couple of weeks, followed by a final report later in September, according to CDOT Region 3 Traffic Engineer David Oldham.

The information will be used in the ongoing planning for construction on the new Grand Avenue bridge, which is slated to begin next year.

But CDOT will also be looking at more immediate adjustments to signal timing at some of the busier intersections and pedestrian crossings, Oldham said.

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“There have been some complaints about the current signal timing and that it takes too long,” Oldham said.

Indeed, city officials have routinely asked that the signal timing, as well as the mechanism that activates the pedestrian crossing signal at some of the downtown intersections, be reviewed.

Oldham said it’s possible CDOT could have some remedies in place on that front even before the bridge project starts.

“Mostly, we just wanted to see all of the current issues on that corridor, and what changes we can make,” he said.

In addition to the traffic cameras, traffic engineers were out driving the corridor at different times of the day during the six-day surveillance period from Aug. 5-10 recording traffic flow and wait times.

The primary purpose of the study is to determine current travel times from Interstate 70 Exit 114 to the south end of town in advance of the bridge construction, Oldham said.

That includes the time it takes to turn from side streets onto Highway 82/Grand Avenue.

“With the bridge project, we know there is going to be a shift in traffic flow,” Oldham said. “We want to make sure we have a plan in place in time to handle that traffic, and what the different options are based on the results.”

Oldham said this is the most extensive effort involving video monitoring of traffic flow in the region with which he has been involved.

“I wouldn’t say Glenwood Springs is unique in respect to the arrangement of traffic signals,” he said. “What’s unique is the potential for a major shift in traffic due to the bridge project.”

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