Base area roads mulled

Consultants look at problem spots


— As the first week of work on a new roundabout ended, the Urban Redevelopment Area Advisory Commission discussed ideas for two more intersections at the base of the Steamboat Ski Area.

Construction started Monday on a roundabout at Mount Werner Circle and Apres Ski Way. On Friday, Carlos Hernandez of consultants Fehr & Peers presented options for the spots where Burgess Creek Road and Ski Time Square Drive meet Mount Werner Circle.

Although they stated their preferred choices, the panel opted to give Hernandez's team more time to plan. Members asked him to return to the advisory commission's May 23 meeting.

One of the concerns for Burgess Creek is its steep grade, panel members said. The first option for the crossing would add a snowmelt system, a bus stop and new pedestrian crossings. The road grade would not change.

The panel preferred that instead of the second option, which would involve realigning the road, reducing the grade and reconnecting it to Rockies Way.

One possibility for the busy Ski Time Square Drive/Mount Werner Circle crossing would make it a four-way-stop intersection. That would result in lines several cars long, Hernandez said.

"If you wanted to not spend money and use the capital elsewhere, you could do this option," he said.

The advisory panel wasn't keen on the idea.

"A four-way stop has no class," member Bill Jameson said. He and others preferred the second option, which features a roundabout at the intersection.

The roundabout suggested is large enough for a 45-foot tour bus to navigate, Hernandez said. Most tour buses around Steamboat Springs are shorter than that, he said.

The panel is "going back to the drawing board to see if there are some other ideas," redevelopment coordinator Joe Kracum said.

"Carlos laid out his best ideas. : We gave our committee a lot of information today," he said Friday. "That's why I said, 'I don't want a recommendation today. I want you to sit on it, think about it.'"

Also at Friday's meeting:

- Kracum gave members a chart to help them prioritize. The preliminary document included projects in which URAAC has been interested. It was an "unconstrained, if you had all the money in the world" overview, Kracum said.

- The panel also told city Finance Director Lisa Rolan she could explore getting an independent consultant to examine the sales tax impact of the closure of Ski Time Square. The law privatizes much of that information, she said, so a consultant's assessment could give the city a better idea of the effects. Having an idea of the financial impact would help the city decide how to handle bond issues, she said.

- To reach Blythe Terrell, call 871-4234

or e-mail


1stduderiding 9 years ago

While I commend the URA for trying to fix some of the major issues with Mt. Werner Circle, I think their solution is somewhat shortsighted and over-engineered. None of this will fix getting out of the Knoll lot nor does it make negotiating through the Transpo Center any easier.

Why couldn't they have just made the entire Circle a roundabout?? (Flashback--Vintage Auto Races) Have all the traffic move counter-clockwise with three lanes--a middle lane for continuous traffic, a lane for merging on and off from the left and a lane for merging on and off from the right. Granted it makes for a longer trip for those who live on Burgess Creek Rd., but let's face it it takes them just as long timewise now.

Pedestrians woud love it because they would only have to look one way. It doesn't affect the bus schedule much and the Circle would have a much cleaner feel to it.

But I guess the cat's out of the bag. They are already working on the roundabout at Apres, so there's little chance of this happening.


bartender 9 years ago

I actually emailed that exact same idea to the city council back in November or December. No response from them. I think they actually think roundabouts are cool now, kinda a fun word and circle!! They haven't considered that they are actually more dangerous for pedestrians. And a roundabout at apre and mt werner? A 3 way roundabout? What's the point? They should have just added a better Left turning lane off Apre. "OH but lets have fund driving in the roundabouts that the city council gave us!!"

Dont get me wrong. Roundabouts are very functional in busy intersections and high trafic flow areas, but the city council is out of control with them now.


Angry_Citizen 9 years ago

Can't Lisa do this on her own??? She sure seems to be able to spend tax money like it's going out of style. Just look at Destin and Columbia. Both locations had to spend mega dollars to fix her mess.


housepoor 9 years ago

the CC saw that VAIL had roundabouts so it must be good for Steamboat


Matthew Stoddard 9 years ago

4 Way Stops have no class? Ummmm...why?? Maybe hiring a mime to direct traffic in a "funny" way would have more class?


corduroy 9 years ago

I get lost in the Vail roundabouts. the ones near Boston are worse however due to more traffic. They are accidents waiting to happen


telebikebird 9 years ago

They actually are more efficient as opposed to stop lights and allow trafffic to flow if used correctly...


twostroketerror 9 years ago

Roundabouts are interactive driving. You have to pay attention, have driving skill and a little patience. Quite difficult w/ a cell phone and a frappicino. Un-american, really.


hubiem 9 years ago

the roundabout at apres is a huge waste of money. as i've said before, that intersection is never busy. even during the busiest times of year there is never any traffic there, and it never takes very long to turn any direction through that intersection.

most of the shuttles that use the transit center really want to go left out of the transit center but can't. a roundabout at the end ski time square will allow the busses leaving the transit center to turn around there instead of turning into ski time square to turn around.

one problem with roundabouts is that nobody uses their turn signals while driving through them. if you are driving around the roundabout you should have your left turn signal on until you want to exit. then you turn your right turn signal when you pass the exit before the one you want

the other problem is that most people are used to 4 way stops where you yield to people on your right. in roundabouts you have to yield to the left. there were several times this winter when i was leaving the torian plum parking garage and stopped to yield to someone approaching on my left. then the car on the left would stop at the yield sign and motion for me to go. it would help if the yield signs stated that you only yield to traffic on the left.

if we are going to put in all the roundabouts, then maybe the pilot and today could run ads that tell people how to properly use them. because it is obvious that 90% of the people out there don't know what to do.


housepoor 9 years ago

roundabouts are more efficient when the drivers are used to them.........we are trying to addressing issues that only occur when most people on the road have only been in steamboat for a week and in rental cars


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