Signal, not circle, to greet motorists at 8th, Midland |

Signal, not circle, to greet motorists at 8th, Midland

GLENWOOD SPRINGS ” By this time next year, the intersection at Midland Avenue and 8th Street should have a lowered grade and a traffic light.

City Council decided to lower the grade and install a light ” at a cost of $1.8 million ” during its regular meeting on Thursday, although it was not a unanimous decision.

“I really think traffic lights are the worst way to move traffic,” Councilman Larry Beckwith said. “I would love the possibility of seeing a roundabout.”

City engineer Larry Thompson studied the idea of incorporating a roundabout, at a cost of $2.3 million, into the intersection. But in his analysis submitted to council earlier in the week, he explained that the topography of the area, along with the roundabout’s higher price tag, ruled that option out.

The signalized intersection also works better for pedestrian traffic, Councilwoman Chris McGovern pointed out.

“The roundabout is very difficult to work for pedestrians and bicycles,” she said.

Councilman Joe O’Donnell wanted to see more design work done on the roundabout, but he and Beckwith were overruled in an unofficial tally of council’s will.

“For an extra half-a-million dollars, I think we’ll save money in the long run,” O’Donnell said.

Councilman Bruce Christensen said when he came to the meeting, he favored the roundabout idea, as well. But after Thompson’s detailed presentation, he changed his tune. But he still insisted on dressing up the intersection as much as possible.

Another issue at hand was who would pay for the intersection, which is on a fast track because of the impending development of Glenwood Meadows. According to an agreement with Meadows developers, they are slated to foot the $1.8 million bill.

“I think this is a cost they entirely should pay,” Councilman Dan Richardson.

Meadows developers favored a $573,000 scheme that would have left a fairly steep grade between Midland Avenue and the 8th Street Bridge, but Thompson ruled out that option, as well.

In other business, City Council:

– Awarded Key Construction of Parker the $3.48 million contract to build the Community Center Aquatic Center.

– Approved a draft intergovernmental agreement to pitch $56,868 into the Roaring Fork Community Housing Fund, a program being developed by Healthy Mountain Communities. The money will go toward the construction of affordable housing.

– Approved a request for a zoning amendment that would allow animal grooming and pet day care at the Glenwood Springs Shopping Center on the 3100 block of Blake Avenue, near Highway 82.

– Approved a resolution that accepts and partially funds an airport grant application. Plans call for solar-powered helipad lights and a resurfacing project at the airport that would put a slurry seal over the experimental resurfacing project that was done last year. Pilots have since complained about excessive wear on their airplane tires.

– Passed an ordinance to allow international flags in Glenwood Springs. Prior to the passage of the ordinance, it was illegal to display international flags.

– Passed an ordinance canceling the first City Council meeting in January because it falls on Jan. 1.

– Approved a mutual aid agreement between Eagle, Garfield, Grand, Jackson, Mesa, Moffat, Rio Blanco, Routt, Summit and Pitkin counties. According to Glenwood Springs police chief Terry Wilson, the ordinance was passed to enable the city to be eligible for homeland security grants.

Contact Greg Masse: 945-8515, ext. 511

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