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New ideas for Glenwoods traffic

Dennis WebbPost Independent Staff

Glenwood Springs City Council member Dan Richardson was a bit skeptical about spending time Friday at an alternative transportation workshop.He doubted there was much that would be said that he hadn’t heard before. But he was happy to learn he was wrong.Speaker Dan Burden offered a vision for Glenwood Springs in which not only cyclists and pedestrians but motorists would benefit by making alternative transportation easier in Glenwood Springs.His vision went so far as to offer hope to Richardson that a bypass along the Roaring Fork River might not be needed – at least not for a long time to come.”That was music to my ears,” Richardson said.Burden is director of Walkable Communities, Inc., and has spoken to more than 1,200 communities around the country.His message at a workshop at the Glenwood Springs Community Center Friday afternoon resonated with those who attended.”It really got us thinking outside the traffic box,” said Glenwood Springs trails advocate Nancy Reinisch.Burden’s appearance came at an opportune time for people like Reinisch. As someone who lives on Midland Avenue, Reinisch has urged City Council to do more investigation before going ahead with plans to install speed humps on Midland to slow traffic. On Friday, she heard Burden suggest that putting a bike lane on Midland could achieve the same end by narrowing the traffic lane.Burden also touted what he considers to be the benefits of roundabouts, which he suggested as one approach to improving the intersection at Sixth Street and Laurel Avenue, near the Interstate 70 interchange. Burden and others inspected the intersection as part of a bicycle tour of Glenwood Springs on a rainy Friday morning.Richardson was intrigued by Burden’s suggestion for an intersection Richardson and others have taken to calling “Malfunction Junction.”He also would like to see a committee formed to explore some of Burden’s other ideas. Perhaps implementing some of them could keep Glenwood from having to pursue a bypass along its river corridor, or at least put off that idea while other approaches are undertaken first, Richardson said.Glenwood voters are being asked this fall to renew a city transit tax, partly to fund an environmental impact study on the bypass.With five of Glenwood’s seven council members attending Friday, Richardson hopes the city will give serious consideration to some of Burden’s nonmotorized transportation solutions. Richardson said he particularly liked Burden’s suggestion that communities “choose when enough is enough” when it comes to vehicle traffic.Burden was pleased at the response to his presentation, and said Glenwood Springs can take the next step by trying new approaches with each new traffic project it undertakes, and using each project as a model for the next one. He said his ideas can benefit everyone from children and neighborhoods to the truck driver trying to get through town.”People are ready for change,” he said.


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