Residents question Midland speed limit, planters
A man who was involved in helping Midland Avenue become an alternate route through town is questioning the speed limit in place on the road, and the city’s efforts to slow traffic there.Jeff Wisch, who now lives in Westbank south of Glenwood Springs, told City Council members Thursday that he was a member of the Community on the Move group when it successfully campaigned years ago for the tax funding that enabled Midland to be extended to West Glenwood and a new bridge over the Colorado River.That project provided a secondary means of getting through town besides traveling Grand Avenue.When City Council approved the Midland project at the time, it “was very concerned about the speed on the road” and instituted a 25-mph limit in Midland’s residential area, Wisch said. But he said Community on the Move members felt a 30- to 35-mph speed limit made more sense.Wisch objects to the city’s experiment this year with placing planters in the middle of Midland to help slow traffic. Two motorists have run into the planters.Wisch worries that Midland traffic will be slowed to the point that people don’t want to drive on it and traffic on Grand backs up again. He said he feels bad for residents living on Midland, but said the increasing traffic on the road should be no surprise to them.”They knew in the past what the future was going to be,” he said.He encouraged council to continue working on getting a true bypass built through town.”If we don’t do something for ourselves there’s going to be a lot of old-timers saying we don’t want to live here anymore,” he said.Michael Gibson, of No Name, who said his daughter lives on Midland, also objected to the use of planters. He told council he worries that the city could face legal action over the two recent accidents.However, he said he thinks other traffic-calming measures “are available that can safely mitigate at least the short-term problem.”Gibson asked council to take immediate action to remove the planters. Council member Larry Beckwith, a Midland resident, was the only one to address Gibson and Wisch’s concerns Thursday night.Beckwith said the traffic doesn’t bother him where he lives on Midland, but is unsafe elsewhere on the road. He said the planters only emphasize an already-existing problem.”All of the sudden people are saying, ‘Hey, we can’t go 50 miles per hour down here. We have to slow down,'” he said.He noted that he had proposed speed humps on Midland, but residents didn’t want to hinder the flow of traffic there.Beckwith said when Midland was made an alternate route, residents realized it would be a thoroughfare, but were promised the 25-mph speed limit because driveways weren’t engineered for higher speeds.They also were promised a a truck vehicle weight limit, he noted. That limit is 10,000 pounds of gross vehicle weight. Police say a concrete pumper truck that demolished a planter this week weighed 86,000 pounds.Contact Dennis Webb: 945-8515, ext. firstname.lastname@example.org
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