Letter: CDOT’s plans will devastate Glenwood | PostIndependent.com

Letter: CDOT’s plans will devastate Glenwood

This letter will discuss pedestrians and roundabouts (circles). CDOT wants to replace the four-way signalized stop at Sixth and Laurel with a roundabout.

At one stakeholders/public bridge meeting a CDOT official stated that with a roundabout at Sixth and Laurel, pedestrians on Sixth would have to walk “half way up Laurel” to reach a crosswalk. He was right.

I spoke with a roundabout expert with the Federal Highway Administration. He stated that a 60-100 foot distance away from the roundabout was a safe zone for a pedestrian to cross a street.

At one bridge meeting I said people don’t always walk to a crosswalk on Grand Avenue, they just walk into the street mid-block to cross. I asked how they would prevent people from crossing more conveniently if they put in a roundabout at Sixth and Laurel. CDOT/Jacobs said they would put up berms forcing people to a crosswalk. (CDOT has plans for berms in downtown and north Glenwood.)

The National Cooperative Highway Research Program (NCHRP) Report #672, pages 6-68 and 6-69 states:

“Pedestrian convenience: Pedestrians desire crossing locations as close to the roundabout as possible to minimize out-of-direction travel. The farther the crossing is from the roundabout, the more likely pedestrians will choose a shorter route that may put them in greater danger.”

Angled crosswalks have been mentioned for Laurel. (We have angled crosswalks on Eighth Street at Pitkin and School. The angled crosswalk on the east side of Eighth at Pitkin traverses about 18 feet horizontally.) NCHRP’s Report #672, page 6-70, in discussing straight versus angled crosswalks, states: “The advantages of this design [a straight crosswalk] are a shorter overall walking distance for pedestrians” (than an angled crosswalk would be).

On page 6-69, the report states, “It may be desirable to place the crosswalk two or three car lengths (45 feet or 70 feet) back from the edge of the circulatory roadway” (a roundabout). This means walk 45-70 feet up a street away from a roundabout, cross the street, then walk back 45-70 feet. So that’s 90-140 feet — up and back — to cross a street.

The report’s writers demonstrate an understanding of people choosing the shorter, quicker route (noted above; p. 6-68 and 6-69) to cross a street at a roundabout. They also show concern about people walking an angled cross walk that adds about 15 feet to their walk (pg. 6-70). But they think nothing of adding 90-140 feet to a pedestrian’s trek. (pg. 6-69)

The report’s writers appears to be unaware of the report’s internal contradiction; i.e., awareness of pedestrian’s wanting a shorter route versus having pedestrians walk 90-140 feet out of their way. There is no attempt to solve — or even make note of — the report’s internal inconsistencies. This unresolved internal conflict is found within three pages (6-68, 6-69, 6-70) of NCHRP’s report.

In my opinion, CDOT’s bridge project and their Access/Control Plan will devastate Glenwood Springs.

Linda Holloway

Glenwood Springs

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