17th Street calming work awaits survey
There's been a change of plans for the top-priority Westside traffic calming projects. And, has been the case throughout their several-year planning period, it means
another construction delay.
Colorado Springs Traffic Engineering had hoped last summer to couple the first of those projects - 17th Street, between Colorado Avenue and Uintah Street - with a widening at nearby St. Vrain and 18th streets in late summer. However, as indicated in the story starting on Page 1, the latter project has been scrapped. Meanwhile, Traffic Eng-ineering has decided an additional survey on 17th is needed to determine possible drainage impacts from bump-outs that would be installed as part of the calming work, according to Principal Traffic Engineer David Krauth.
“We have all the line work done for the design,” he said. “We need to put out an RFP (request for proposal) for an engineer and surveyor to look at it, so we can verify that what we're putting in there isn't impeding the flow of water.”
Typically, such scrutiny could be done in-house, but city staffers “are swamped with other stuff,” he said.
He did not have a new timetable for when work might take place.
Krauth said the basic strategy for the calming effort (officially called the Neighborhood Traffic Management Program (NTMP)) is the same as he explained it last summer - to take on the eight highest-priority NTMP projects citywide, one at a time. First on that list is 17th Street (which goes past Buena Vista School). The Westside's Broadway Street (Midland School) is fourth and Holland Park Boulevard (near Jackson Elementary) is fifth.
The 17th Street project has been on the NTMP list for about five years, Broadway four and Holland Park two. Previous delays have been reportedly related to a change in program coordinator (three years ago) and problems with subcontractors, suppliers, weather, departmental capabilities (Traffic Engineering took over implementation this year from City Planning) and funding.
Traffic calming uses street-design changes to slow down vehicles in neighborhood areas that might invite speeders or “cut-through” traffic.
Westside Pioneer article