Project to 'road-diet' segments of Walnut and Bijou streets nears completion
A 2C project to “diet” traffic is nearing completion on Walnut Street from Colorado Avenue to Boulder Street and Bijou Street from I-25 to Spruce Street.
Walnut is scheduled for final paving by the city contractor, Martin Marietta Materials, in the first week of October, after which it will be striped for one lane each way, with a bike lane and parking on either side.
The Bijou segment was recently restriped from four lanes to two. Bike lanes were added, but not west of Walnut.
In conjunction with the traffic-lane reduction, the Walnut/Bijou intersection now sports a four-way stop, with a left-turn lane for westbound Bijou traffic (see photo/graphic on this page). The other westbound lane can go straight at the stop sign or turn right (north) on Walnut. Previously this intersection had been configured with stop signs for all traffic except westbound.
One effect of the changes will be less of a free flow for westbound traffic. Although a few critics have predicted Bijou back-ups as a result,
Colorado Springs Transportation officials announced the Walnut/Bijou project plans after a generally supportive neighborhood meeting in April. A resident had led a petition effort for traffic safety after she said one of her family's cars was hit while parked on Walnut and she saw a bicyclist knocked down.
The city's prompt response to the petition was partly due to fortuitous timing, the April meeting revealed. The Colorado-to-Boulder segment of Walnut was already scheduled for repaving in 2018 under the city's sales-tax-supported 2C road improvement program.
In addition, city officials said their studies showed that not only did the segment lack the traffic volume to justify four lanes, “road-dieting” it down to two would lessen speeding.
Walnut was also identified for bicycle-related roadway changes in the city Bicycle Master Plan that City Council approved this year.
Westside Pioneer article