City: 21st Street island will help with traffic safety issue

       A new traffic island was built recently between traffic lanes on 21st Street just south of Cucharras as part of the city's Midland Trail extension project.

The new traffic island on 21st Street, just south of Cucharras Street, is shown at a time when northbound traffic from Colorado Avenue is backed up past Cucharras. The island will prevent an identified problem in which impatient motorists would pass the northbound cars using the center lane, according to City Traffic Engineering.
Westside Pioneer photo

       E-mailed about the purpose of the island, Kristin Bennett of City Traffic Engineering e-mailed back that “this change was made to better accommodate the crossing for the Midland Trail as well as address the issue of motorists who drive several blocks in the two-way left-turn lane and create head-on conflicts with turning vehicles and bicycles in that turn lane.”
       The trail currently has its western terminus at 21st Street. In previous years, the city had explored the possibility of routing it from there along Fountain Creek, but ran into issues with current property owners and uncertainties about the future Highway 24 expansion project. As a result the trail is being “detoured” for the next several years from 21st to Cucharras to 25th to Naegele, where a trail built this summer continues west.
       “The newly constructed island [on 21st] still allows for left turns onto westbound Cucharras and does not impede access to nearby businesses,” Bennett added. “The island was designed to allow for turning trucks like garbage trucks and delivery trucks. There will also be vertical posts with reflectors (called object markers) installed on the island. We are aware this is a congested area at certain times of the day, but there are a number of safety and access issues to address in a limited space.”

Westside Pioneer article