THE FUTURE LOOK OF WEST US40
This week the community continued to take significant steps forward in solving part of the US40 congestion challenge in West Steamboat, as Jacobs Engineering presented the "Preferred Alternative" to solve the traffic flow problem West of 13th Street. This study is a critical and necessary step if the community is to eventually seek state or federal assistance to address US40 in West Steamboat.
The community has been aware of the traffic problems in West Steamboat for years. A traffic study conducted by the City in 2008 showed that the road system west of town is functioning at the worst-rated (D & F) levels at peak hours, and recommended this study now underway by Jacobs Engineering as the next step. To demonstrate our commitment to the project and the community, Steamboat 700 LLC agreed to pay $923,000 for the study--and importantly, with no guarantees of being annexed.
“Preferred Alternative” Proposed
The centerpiece of an open house last Wednesday night was the presentation of the “preferred alternative” to address West Steamboat’s transportation challenges today and into the future. The core objectives of the preferred alternative are to reduce congestion, improve mobility, balance multimodal use (e.g., walking, biking, transit), and enhance access along US40. The preferred alternative includes the following elements:
Widening sections of the highway to 4 lanes
Transit, bicycle, and pedestrian improvements (including sidewalks)
Traffic signal optimization and coordination
Improved signing and wayfinding
There is still a great deal of work to do as the study continues. For instance, one aspect that will need further attention is how to address the bottleneck on US40 between 12th Street and 13th Street. The study offered options on how to improve the 13th Street-Lincoln Avenue intersection, but the 12th-13th Street bottleneck at peak traffic times needs further analysis.
It is important to note that this study does not address all of the traffic issues facing Steamboat Springs, which are extensive. We will continue to stay engaged in this process as a member of the Transportation Solutions Group being led by the Chamber Resort Association. This has been a positive forum for all stakeholders to talk about all transportation and mobility issues throughout Steamboat Springs. The group meets monthly, and I encourage everyone to get involved.
Addressing the challenges in transportation will require a broad community effort. The community planning that has been accomplished in the past decade determined that concentrating Steamboat Springs’ and Routt County’s future residential growth in West Steamboat will reduce sprawl, reduce traffic congestion, strengthen the region's economy and protect the environment. This US40 study now underway is a vital step in dealing with the traffic issues that exist here, today.
The US40 study has gathered a mountain of data and analysis on US40 traffic, land use, agriculture, noise, air quality, water resources, wildlife, the regional economy, and many more interconnected factors, and all of it is posted on a great website: http://www.us40west.com.
If you have questions or want to talk more in-depth about any aspect of Steamboat 700, please give me a call at 870.0244 or email me at email@example.com. Also, I try to keep “office hours” every Friday morning between 8:30am – 11:30am on the 2nd floor of the Chieftain Building, 345 Lincoln Avenue—however, I will be out of town on Friday, May 29.
Thank you for reading.
Principal, Project Manager
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