Council picks Lincoln layout

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— The Steamboat Springs City Council wants to have its traffic light and build one, too.

At its meeting Tuesday, council members unanimously selected a new layout for Lincoln Avenue, which would be constructed when the Colorado Department of Transportation conducts a complete overhaul of U.S. Highway 40 through downtown Steamboat Springs beginning in fall 2009. The plan originally included the replacement of a traffic light at Eighth Street with one at 11th Street, but on the recommendation of Public Works Director Philo Shelton, council members decided there would be no harm in at least asking CDOT whether they could have both.

Although there was consensus that something needs to be done to make Lincoln Avenue crossings safer between Ninth and 13th streets, council members and members of the public were loathe to lose the Eighth Street crossing at the core of downtown.

"It is a loss that would be very difficult for downtown," said Mainstreet Steamboat Springs President Towny Anderson, noting the proximity of a movie theater and a public parking lot at Eighth and Oak streets.

The layout chosen by council also includes the relocation of bus stops to bays on the downstream side of traffic signals and sidewalks that "bulb out" at intersections to shorten the street-crossing distance for pedestrians. Both additions will result in the loss of some on-street parking spaces. The configuration and width of the street's lanes will remain unchanged.

Concerns were expressed about the difficulties the sidewalk extensions could create for snow removal, but a desire to increase pedestrian friendliness won out.

"The improvement in pedestrian experience far outweighs the adverse effect on snowplows," Anderson said.

After acknowledging that he previously opposed bulb-outs for years, City Council President Loui Antonucci joined the unanimous decision.

"I'm finally to the point where I'm willing to try it," Antonucci said. "We need to do something to make downtown Steamboat more pedestrian friendly.

Also Tuesday, members of the Education Fund Board, who are requesting that the city put a question on the November ballot extending a half-cent city sales tax for education, addressed council. Council members were mostly receptive to a Fund Board recommendation to create a mechanism to share some of the tax revenues with Hayden and South Routt schools. In the coming weeks and months, city and Fund Board officials will decide whether the ballot measure should be presented as one question or two.

Comments

Martha D Young 5 years, 10 months ago

We have a vehicle and a pedestrian problem in downtown Steamboat Springs. While addressing the latter, Council ignored its opportunity to reallign traffic lanes and eliminate on-street parking to alleviate the former. The pedestrian "bulbs" make no sense at all, given our traffic and snow clearing problems. Does this Council plan to continue the tradition of losing opportunities when they are presented? And what about all the studies that have been done? More money has been spent on reports that are ignored.

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Matthew Stoddard 5 years, 10 months ago

Doesn't matter, really. More often than not, people...with their young children in tow...tend to jaywalk instead of walking the extra 10yds to a stoplight/crosswalk on Lincoln.

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ColoradoNative 5 years, 10 months ago

It's official. There are no leaders on this City Council willing to step up and make some REAL changes.

Actually I take that back. Adding "pedestrian friendly bulbs" will certainly make plowing our HIGHWAY more difficult.

Is the city council totally blind to the chaos downtown? What happened to the 100k that was spent on the study for lincoln?

This community really needs to start rallying together to fix this problem. We can no longer rely on our elected officials to make decisions. That much is clear now.

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outsiderlookingin 5 years, 10 months ago

Louie start looking for another job. Flip Flop Much?

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sandmountain 5 years, 10 months ago

It's pretty obvious that no one from City Council has ever been around a snow plow. The "bulb outs" would be impossible for the CDOT to plow. Just look at the landscaping design out around Wall Mart, and the Village Inn. It's impossible to plow except with a front end loader and it takes forever. The City is also loosing parking spots with the bulb outs.

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ihatestupidpeople 5 years, 10 months ago

why don"t they think about a parking garage in on the 8th street parking lot. that way they could take out all parking downtown, and then they don't need the bulbs and it would be easy to snowplow. make it four stories or more and make it big enough that i will still work ten years from now and you charge 25 cents and hour or half hour to help pay for it, then the rest of the lots downtown are free. thats what they do in Boulder, Huntington beach, New York city and many other cities in the world. we are stupid to have on street parking downtown with the amount of ped. and veh. traffic. lets make downtown people friendly.

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dave reynolds 5 years, 10 months ago

years ago when the Good News Building blew up steamboat had a chance of having structure parking downtown..dont know all the details but now we have stbt ski and bike care(no offence intended)..i guess the pattern continues oppertunites seem to crop up and then they get passed by..sems now we have a counsel whom goes with the flow.we had chances years ago to build a by pass and parking structures but they went by the way side for what ever reason..now we are dealing with a problem with a pretty much no win solution..what with every vacant lot being develped there leaves no room for a bypass or parking lot unless you want to pay big bucks..welcome to greedboat

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424now 5 years, 10 months ago

Hey, its at least some acknowledgement that their is an opportunity to benefit from the CDOT work. However minimal and possibly misguided their ideas may be. At least the city council made a decision to do something.

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techno_babble 5 years, 10 months ago

The big question to ask about all the development - is what happened to all the fee-in-lieu of parking money the city collected? Wasn't that supposed to help offset them relaxing the parking requirements for these buildings?

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ihatestupidpeople 5 years, 10 months ago

ya they made a decision that was a mistake. it is not the right one they are just gonna make a bigger problem, when they create those ped. bubbles they would work in a city where it only snows like 1-3 inches a time and only a few times a year, but when we have 500 inch winters it will not work. i do have to admit that the city council has done good by making a decision but it was not the right one

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colowoodsman 5 years, 10 months ago

Greed Rules! We should make Towny plow Lincoln. I give it one winter- tops. That is if CDOT is foolish enough to go along. This one will be remembered along with the collapse of the roof at Olympian Hall and the slide of the ski jump.

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stillinsteamboat 5 years, 10 months ago

those bulbs will be a great launching pad at Winter Carnival when the horses pulling kids on skis hit one and fly out of control. Not smart. obviously none of these people plow snow for a living. Less parking spaces, now there's a step in the right directon.

colwoodsman,don't forget to add the tunnels that flood every year on the bike path to your list.

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424now 5 years, 10 months ago

Then get into City Hall for the meetings. Get there early and make the effort to socialize with the other residents that show up. Groups cary more weight in chambers.

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casius109 5 years, 10 months ago

Parking is a obvious issue that needs to be addressed as well has high traffic. None of the lights are timed in downtown Steamboat with any of the other lights, this means you can't get from one side to the other in one straight shot during the busiest times. Bulbs will only make this problem worse. The timers for walking across the streets allow for less pedestrians to get injured, but are not used throughout downtown, this can lead to more J-walkers. We do need to make people pay for parking in downtown Steamboat, mostly to raise money for the $20,000 per spot parking structure everyone keeps wanting at 8th street. It is hard to believe that everyone who wants that parking structure doesn't want to pay for parking at a minimal fee ($1/per hour) when they are going out and having $7 margs at the Rio.

Our elected officials don't seem to be the type that look much beyond their next election. We need to look at other communities in the country like ours and make some improvements before we lose out to being destination resort because of traffic, not foot traffic.

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dave reynolds 5 years, 10 months ago

casius..i disagree the lights are timed drive 25 or twenty six and you will hit all the lights and make it in one straight shot..i do it all the time..people speed in the boat its the norm..25 means 30 or 35..45 means 50 or 55 sometime 60...I dive a truck for a living so i learned to slow down sometimes its faster case in point from 3rd street to 13th..anotherway is take oak street..i do agree that the bulbs are a bad idea

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armchairqb 5 years, 10 months ago

I say eliminate the lights altogether and make the speed limit through town 55 ( it is a highway after all) this way the idiots who drive at 16 mph in a 25 mph zone would get run out of town an a rail and the traffic will dictate the speed and the pedestrians can fend for themselves. If they get run over it will help prove Darwins Theory. People walk around every big city in this country and they don't all get run over crossing the street, ( and taxies drive a lot different there than the alpine guys here)

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