Traffic calming efforts continue on Midland Avenue in Glenwood Springs |

Traffic calming efforts continue on Midland Avenue in Glenwood Springs

Pete FowlerGlenwood Springs, CO Colorado

GLENWOOD SPRINGS, Colorado – Construction of traffic-slowing measures on Midland Avenue is under way, and four solar-powered speed display signs have already appeared.The signs display the speed limit and flash drivers’ speeds back at them. At a certain speed, the signs flash red and blue – conjuring the image of police lights in the rear-view mirror.In January, the City Council approved proceeding with the first of three phases to place 14 “traffic calming” devices on Midland Avenue in order to get people to actually drive the 25 mph speed limit instead of the typical 32 mph or more. The first phase was expected to cost about $290,000 of the total $1.7 million price tag of all three phases of construction.The first phase includes the four speed display signs, plus three speed tables and two raised pedestrian crossings. One of the crossings will be combined with a landscape median.Assistant City Engineer King Lloyd said the city is in the process of bidding out the remaining features to contractors. It’s unclear exactly when the remaining features will go in.”It kind of depends upon the successful bidder’s workload and of course primarily the weather,” Lloyd said.The city awarded a contract for planning and design of the traffic features to the Loris and Associates engineering firm for $250,000.The 14 devices would be arranged about every 500 feet along Midland Avenue from 27th Street to Eighth Street. They include two entry islands, the speed display signs, alternating curb extensions, three speed tables, two landscape medians, two raised pedestrian crossings and a traffic circle.The 14 features are meant to be a more permanent solution to slow traffic than the concrete planters installed in the middle of the road, and these were criticized from the get-go. A couple of drivers crashed into the planters shortly after they went in, although drivers eventually seemed to adjust to them. The planters were removed in October after city officials said they were in poor condition and no longer had any effect on speed.Besides reducing speed, one goal of the new design is to maintain the road’s capacity, which was around 7,000 or 8,000 cars a day and growing earlier in the year. Some city councilors expressed concern that the 14 devices would push more traffic back onto Grand Avenue and questioned how the effort would relate to a new bridge planned over the Roaring Fork River in the southern part of the city.Contact Pete Fowler: 384-9121pfowler@postindependent.comPost Independent, Glenwood Springs Colorado CO

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