Public mostly supports plans to redesign Midland Avenue in Glenwood Springs

Pete FowlerGlenwood Springs, CO Colorado
Courtesy city of Glenwood Springs A rendering of a pedestrian island.

GLENWOOD SPRINGS – Public comments suggest people are generally happy with plans to redesign Midland Avenue, although several suggested raising the speed limit or spending money elsewhere.

Glenwood Springs city staff and the Loris and Associates engineering firm presented plans for Midland Avenue last week.The city plans to design the stretch from 27th Street to Eighth Street so cars actually travel the 25 mph speed limit, instead of the typical 30 to 35 mph, for the safety of residents and pedestrians in the area.Assistant city engineer Lloyd said the project is projected to cost $1.5 million to $2 million. About 33 comments on the plans were sent to the city on paper or by e-mail. People in about 56 different residences attended the meeting.”For the most part it was well-received,” said Lloyd. “For the most part there was a consensus that we were moving in the right direction.”

Lloyd said some suggested more traffic-calming features like median strips or speed tables, while some thought more stop signs could be used instead of traffic-calming features.Stop signs would reduce the efficiency of the road, Lloyd said, and traffic-calming features would keep traffic moving at a slower pace.The proposal includes traffic-calming devices located every 500 feet or so along Midland between Eighth and 27th streets. The devices – meant to slow traffic – would include six median strips, an elevated “speed table” like the ones on Cemetery Lane in Aspen, two speed signs with radar feedback and warnings, two locations where cars would steer around curbs alternately extending eight feet into the road, and one traffic circle.Some who commented suggested adding a speed table near the intersection with 10th Street because it’s used as a crossing for a school bus stop. A few people suggested bike lanes along Midland Avenue.Among the possibilities, the city’s considering adding up to three more speed tables in response to feedback, Lloyd said.

Most comments were positive or made specific suggestions. Several people suggested raising the speed limit while a few questioned if money couldn’t be better spent elsewhere and said traffic enforcement would be more effective.According to the city’s synopsis of comments, Dean Gordon wrote, “The primary use of Midland is an arterial road and the primary user is pass through. … I would be in favor of accepting the fact that this street needs to carry an arterial level of traffic and either give up on calming and post the road at 45 mph, or put in the level of treatments proposed and be honest with residents and adopt the policy that this road needs at least a 35 mph posting.”Gordon is on the Glenwood Springs Transportation Commission.Steve Holmgren wrote, “If you want people to conform to speed limits there needs to be an effective way to get through town quickly. A half-hour to go three miles is inviting problems!”

The Glenwood Springs City Council previously decided to pay Loris about $250,000 for design work for solutions to slow traffic. Physical work on the project is expected to begin in 2008 and take at least a couple of years. Planters that had been placed on Midland as a temporary traffic-calming measure were removed in October.A representative with Loris plans to go door-to-door along Midland Avenue in efforts to make sure everyone knows what’s going on and has a chance to comment. A proposal will probably go before City Council in January or February, but additional comments are still welcome, Lloyd said. Drawings should also be available on the Internet soon at Pete Fowler:

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