Broadway, 17th getting closer to calmness

       Plans to slow traffic in two parts of the Westside are moving forward. “Traffic calming” devices are slated for temporary installation on Broadway Street through the Midland area and 17th Street between Uintah Street and Colorado Avenue next spring.
       The idea in both cases is to make those largely residential streets less enticing to drivers who want to go fast or to use them for shortcuts.
       Residents in those areas have been working with the City Planning Office's Neighborhood Traffic Management Program (NTMP) - most recently at meetings this fall at which the city unveiled the physical steps its traffic planners believe will do the trick.
       “We're happy about it,” said Anna England, who has helped lead the Broadway neighborhood's NTMP over the past two and a half years.
       A similar satisfaction was expressed by Marc Jenesel, who lives on the curve at 17th Street. He was also pleased that Kristin Bennett, who heads up the program, agreed to modify the 17th Street plans in response to concerns expressed at his neighborhood's recent meeting about cut-through traffic on Armstrong Avenue (a block south of Uintah).
       Changes on both streets will be temporary at first to allow traffic planners to assess how well the fixes are working, Bennett explained. The city has flexible, reusable materials that can be bent into such shapes as medians, bump-outs or traffic circles, she said. (An example is the temporary median on 21st Street just south of Highway 24.)
       At Broadway, Bennett said the goal is to make the street between 21st Street and Westend Avenue narrower and to provide physical impediments to speeders and late-night drag racers. At 17th, speeders are also a problem, as are commercial trucks cutting through the neighborhood and lack of stop-sign compliance at Platte Avenue and Bijou Street by Buena Vista School.
       The fixes on Broadway will consist of the following:
  • A dead-end sign on Broadway Bluffs Lane.
  • A traffic circle at Westend Avenue and Broadway Street (instead of the current stop sign) and at Market Street. A traffic circle is an island in the middle of an intersection that forces traffic in all directions to slow to get around it.
  • Corner “bump-outs” at Calvert (by Midland Elementary) and Market Street. Bump-outs extend the sidewalk area into the street at an intersection, narrowing the street there and reducing the time pedestrians have to spend in the street itself.
       Future plans, which go beyond the scope of the traffic-calming work, are to narrow Broadway along its 50-foot-wide length, doing so by adding tree-lined parkways between the roadbed and the sidewalk.
       On 17th Street, the current plan calls for:
  • Corner bump-outs at the intersections with Platte and with Bijou.
  • A traffic circle at the intersection of 17th Street and Boulder Street.
  • Addition of curb, gutter, and sidewalk where missing between St. Vrain and Armstrong. (This will occur separate from the traffic calming project - most likely as part of a future Pikes Peak Rural Transportation Authority project, Bennett said.)
  • Addition of “No Trucks Except Local Deliveries” signage on 17th Street south of Uintah Corner bumpouts or a center- entry median at the intersection of 17th with Armstrong.
       Bennett said future consideration will be given to redesigning the 17th/Uintah intersection to make it less inviting for drivers to take 17th. The street is already desirable to some because it is the first direct street from Uintah to Colorado Avenue west of I- 25.
       Bennett said she does not have an exact date for the fixes to be installed in either neighborhood, but she is hoping for earlier than April. “We want to test it for 8 to 10 weeks before school gets out (in June),” she said.
       After that, Bennett expects to get back with the neighborhoods to see if the fixes should be made permanent or revised.
       The NTMP is a competitive program, in which the city considers applications from various neighborhoods for calming work. The Broadway and 17th Street areas were the two from the Westside this year that were chosen.

Westside Pioneer article