The reason behind the recent transportation changes
Since last week, when Glenwood Springs started implementing the Grand Avenue Pilot Projects, the No. 1 question on people’s mind seems to be, “Where did the city come up with these pilot projects?” Here is a brief scenario of the events that led up to the implementation of the pilot projects.Back in January 2005, 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 committee was assigned three deliverables: to develop street standards, to develop a Traffic Calming Policy for Glenwood Springs and to develop a Grand Avenue Traffic Calming Plan. Through diligent work, this group of citizens completed their tasks in record time, and two of the three policies have already been adopted by City Council. The Traffic Calming Policy was adopted by City Council in September 2005 and the newest policy, Grand Avenue Traffic Calming Plan, was adopted this past December.In the committee’s last meeting, members prioritized a list of projects that were taken from Dan Burden’s Grand Avenue Traffic Calming Vision Workshop held in July. Citizens who attended this public meeting were asked to describe in one word why they live in Glenwood Springs and to list traffic-calming projects they considered the most important for our town. From this list, the committee then came up with selected pilot projects to assist the city in addressing their goals for quality of life and infrastructure management. The projects chosen are: changing the downtown parking into back-in diagonal parking, adding bike lanes on Blake Avenue and changing Cooper and Colorado Avenue back into two-way streets.These pilot projects are included in the Grand Avenue Traffic Calming Plan adopted by City Council to provide overall additional parking in the downtown area and demonstrate the process and value of bicycle lanes by implementing them on Blake Avenue, from Seventh to 23rd Avenue. Removing one-way restrictions from Cooper and Colorado Avenues would improve access of local residents to their homes and will improve the overall circulation in the downtown area. Last March, the Traffic Calming Committee handed out memos to local businesses and residents that are directly affected by these pilot projects, followed by public meetings. The meetings were held on March 7, 8 and 9 at City Hall in the City Council Chambers, and were designed to get public feedback and to give everyone the opportunity to voice their concerns and/or comments they may have. After analyzing all of the comments we received from each project, the committee decided two out of the three projects had public support. Changing Cooper and Colorado Avenue back into two-way streets was not one of them. The other two projects, back-in diagonal parking at the 700 and 800 block of Cooper and the bike lanes on Blake Avenue, started taking shape last week and will be monitored during the next several months. For more information on Traffic Calming and the newly adopted policies, visit the city of Glenwood Springs Traffic Calming Web page at http://www.ci.glenwood-springs.co.us/transpo/calming.htm. To make comments or concerns with these pilot projects, please call (970) 384-6427 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. Ridership has hit an all-time record The City of Glenwood Springs’ free transit system, Ride Glenwood, surpassed the 30,000-passenger-trip mark during the month of May, the first time in the transit’s history. A total of 30,324 passengers jumped aboard to enjoy the free transit service within the city. That’s more than double the passengers for the same time last year. The city began offering free transit service back in April 2005; since then ridership has been breaking records each month. Thank you for making free Ride Glenwood a great success story!Sabrina Harris is the transportation manager of the city of Glenwood Springs.
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