Traffic planning process needs participants
In the opinion of many Glenwood Springs residents, traffic on Grand Avenue has gotten out of hand. Town residents will have an opportunity to speak out on what they think should be done to subdue that traffic, when the city of Glenwood Springs brings two renowned traffic consultants to town for a series of workshops.Traffic planning in Glenwood Springs entered a new era in January, when Glenwood Springs City Council appointed a group of citizens to form the city’s Traffic Efficiencies and Bike and Pedestrian Utilization Ad Hoc Committee. The council charged the committee with three responsibilities: Develop technical street standards for all street classifications. Develop a traffic-calming policy for Glenwood Springs. Develop a specific Grand Avenue traffic-calming plan.Starting into this project, most members of this group didn’t know a neighborhood collector from a minor arterial, and none of us could recite the actual name of the committee. What connected the members of the group is the fact that most of us had attended a seminar on traffic calming with consultant Dan Burden, founder of Walkable Communities Inc., a nonprofit consulting firm. We all also felt passionately that people ought to be able to walk or bike to destinations in town and recognized that the growth of traffic in Glenwood Springs threatens the quality of life many of us have come to expect.Through diligent work, this group has completed city council’s first two objectives. The work was accomplished in large part by slogging through street standards and traffic-calming policies employed by other cities, and then, word by word, agonizing over sample documents drafted by committee chairman Larry Heinrichs from those source documents. Committee members presented the resulting street standards and traffic-calming policy documents to an appreciative City Council in a work session July 7.The committee has also been chipping away at the third objective. The committee brought Burden and design consultant Troy Russ to Glenwood Springs for a half-day visit in April, and the two walked Grand Avenue with a group of officials and citizens, gathering information. Both consultants will be returning for a two-and-a-half day schedule of intensive workshops July 19-21. The two will meet with city officials, emergency responders, school officials, health-care providers, merchants, children and interested citizens during those days. They promise to deliver a vision for Grand Avenue traffic calming and a list of major projects the city needs to consider in order to accomplish this vision. Their vision for Grand Avenue will provide the structure for the committee’s Grand Avenue traffic-calming plan.All Glenwood Springs residents are invited to participate in the workshops. A schedule of workshops and other activities can be seen on the Web at users.iglide.net/adhoc/city_council. htm. For more information call Marianne Virgili at the Glenwood Springs Chamber Resort Association, 945-6589, or the city of Glenwood Springs Engineering Department, 384-6435.We hope all interested Glenwood Springs residents will turn out for the workshops with Dan Burden and Troy Russ, especially the evening workshop for citizens at 6:30 p.m. today at the Glenwood Springs Community Center.Jeremy Heiman is a Glenwood Springs resident.
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