At its meeting tonight, the Steamboat Springs City Council will discuss downtown streetscapes and a planned 2009 repaving of Lincoln Avenue. One recommendation being considered is the addition of bus bays at the far side of intersections with traffic lights, which could make things easier for bus drivers picking up passengers.

Photo by John F. Russell

At its meeting tonight, the Steamboat Springs City Council will discuss downtown streetscapes and a planned 2009 repaving of Lincoln Avenue. One recommendation being considered is the addition of bus bays at the far side of intersections with traffic lights, which could make things easier for bus drivers picking up passengers.

Main Street makeover

City prepares for 2009 Lincoln Avenue overhaul

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If you go

What: Steamboat Springs City Council meeting

When: 4 p.m. today

Where: Centennial Hall, 124 10th St.

Call: City offices at 879-2060 for more information

Agenda

4 p.m. Council convenes as the Steamboat Springs Redevelopment Authority to discuss public improvement projects at the base of the Steamboat Ski Area.

5 p.m. Proclamation recognizing middle school students and Yampa Valley Recycles for funding a community drop-off recycling center; joint meeting with the Routt County Board of Commissioners to discuss a livability index created by the Routt County Economic Development Cooperative and a regional economic strategic plan

6 p.m. Downtown streetscape revitalization; Colorado Department of Transportation presentation on 2009 repaving of Lincoln Avenue

7 p.m. Public comment; budget process overview

— Forget all the construction under way in Old Town; the reconstruction of U.S. Highway 40 may result in a very different-looking downtown Steamboat Springs in coming years.

At its meeting tonight, the Steamboat Springs City Council will see two presentations covering a number of certain and potential changes to Lincoln Avenue, as it is known through city limits.

Beginning in 2009, a repaving of the street from Third to 13th streets is a certainty. The repaving is a project of the Colorado Department of Transportation, which has jurisdiction over the federal highway, unlike other Steamboat streets, over which the city has sole say. The $10.5 million project is being paid for by federal and state funds and will begin in September 2009.

Public Works Director Philo Shelton said the start date should be a relief to downtown business owners and others, because CDOT originally planned to repave the road in the traffic-heavy summer. The construction will take a break during ski season. It will resume and is planned for completion in spring 2010.

Shelton said the repaving will be carried out in two-block intervals and that traffic lanes would be reduced in construction zones but not eliminated entirely. CDOT is leaning toward repaving the road with concrete rather than asphalt, Shelton said.

City Manager Alan Lanning said concrete is more durable, but he acknowledged it could have negative aesthetic effects.

"To some degree, concrete changes the character of the road," Lanning said. "I think asphalt has a more rustic feel to it than concrete does. Concrete seems likes an interstate to me."

Nonetheless, Lanning said he would rather have the road last 15 to 20 years than the five- to seven-year life of asphalt. Shelton said there also are cost advantages to concrete. Although asphalt is usually cheaper and quicker, Shelton said some unique characteristics of Lincoln Avenue make concrete the easier alternative in this situation.

Although the city is not paying for any of the repaving project, Shelton said the city intends to coincide some projects of its own with the work. He said the city will take advantage of the street being torn up to install underground utility work. More visible improvements also are being considered.

A traffic analysis conducted by consultants PBS&J has resulted in recommendations such as moving the traffic light at Eighth Street to 11th Street, limiting pedestrian crossing to intersections with traffic lights, and providing bus bays at the far side of signaled intersections. Off Lincoln Avenue, the study also recommends the addition of striped bike lanes on Oak, Yampa, Fifth and 11th streets.

After a series of public meetings last year, a separate study looking at a revitalization of streetscapes was put on hold while the PBS&J study was completed. Officials said the traffic analysis was necessary to make sure Britina Design Group's $439,000 Downtown Streetscape Improvement Plan would fit needed pedestrian, bicycle and vehicle improvements.

Shelton said that if council members are amenable to PBS&J's recommendations, "We'll proceed with the streetscape designs to match those recommendations."

  • To reach Brandon Gee, call 871-4210

or e-mail bgee@steamboatpilot.com

Comments

paststudent 5 years, 11 months ago

Long overdue changes. Yes, it's bad that the roads are going to be crummy and traffic too, but it will be so much better long term.

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WZ 5 years, 11 months ago

I think dirt has a more rustic feel to it than asphalt does. Asphalt seems like a Dakota Ridge driveway to me."

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colowoodsman 5 years, 11 months ago

I agree WZ! We should also go back to wood sidewalks and install 'hitching' posts' so visitors can tie up their 'Mustangs'!

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ColoradoNative 5 years, 11 months ago

sigh

More band aids.

"To some degree, concrete changes the character of the road," Lanning said. "I think asphalt has a more rustic feel to it than concrete does. Concrete seems likes an interstate to me."

Mr. Lanning. When are we going to get over the denial that we have an INTERSTATE going through a "PEDESTRIAN" area?

That is the problem. We can't have it both ways. We can add flowers, we can add a bus bay, and it will still be the same mess. Actually it will just be a more expensive mess.

I can already hear the tourists screaming at the waitress at the Cantina trying to order another Margarita as a dozen tractor trailers zoom by.

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ColoradoNative 5 years, 11 months ago

Whoops forgot to add mention that our interstate is also our biggest parking lot in downtown.

Our parking/pedestrian/interstate aka Lincoln Avenue will fix itself though. As soon as we add a few thousand lots at 700 all will be well in the boat! Can't wait to cruise the promenade of shops and stores then!

I guess at that point the city will have another 100k study and offer the citizens and tourists ear plugs and running shoes so we can navigate our way around town while we stroll the interstate. Errr I mean blvd.

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SilverSpoon 5 years, 11 months ago

I agree, steamboat should go back to having horses. The F.M. light horse is just cold, and rigid. Real horses should do the trick, people with horseless carriages should take oak or yampa and stay out of the tourist view.

Really, what was allans point? He wants roads that last 15 years, but he also wants them to be asphalt? He really should pick an "educated" decision and stick with it.

In my opinion, unless they intend on heating the concrete road, the plows and frost will destroy concrete in a couple of years, and we'll have pot holes bigger than a VW bug. Asphalt is great because you can destroy it(which is inevitable in colorado), and repave rapidly. CDOT knows their business, roads. So their opinion is paramount to lannings opinion on what tourists should "feel" in the wild, wild, steamboat springs.

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OnTheBusGus 5 years, 11 months ago

MtnWarlock, I think you can get a DWI on a horse. Didn't it happen in Oak Creek a few years ago. I think in Nederland too. It's silly if it's true, at least the horse has it's faculties while a car is dependent upon the driver to get where it's going.

paddlefisher, I agree with your observations on our traffic. My new favorite on Lincoln is turning left in front of traffic as soon as the light turns green. Someday that is totally going to backfire on someone!

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another_local 5 years, 11 months ago

Perhaps they should heat the road. Use the overflow from the hot springs to do it and stop plowing.

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Gadfly 5 years, 11 months ago

Adding a light at 11th is a good idea. Eliminating the light at 8th is a bad idea. Too many people are used to crossing at 7th, 8th and 9th to get them to walk an extra block to cross safely. They'll just try to dash between cars as they do now at 4th, 6th, 10th and 11th. Why trade one dangerous intersection for another?

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rsssco 5 years, 11 months ago

SilverSpoon if you read the article you would understand that CDOT made the material decision not Alan Lanning.

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katrinkakelly 5 years, 11 months ago

Who has the only asphalt plant in the county? CONNELL RESOURCES and they already have the plans to redo the road and sidewalks for downtown Steamboat! BUT their shop and all their trucks must be moved fron RCR 44 to Craig America by the end of JUNE? WHO are they kidding, this is all but a done deal! No wonder CDOT wants concrete! Hello! monopoly.

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summerbird 5 years, 11 months ago

Stop lights every two blocks are enough. It could be even or odd, but since this is the BOAT, I vote for odd.

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middleclass 5 years, 11 months ago

Concrete huh? How about a more artistic twist and color the concrete - &/or stamping patterns in the concrete so it no longer looks like an interstate road? I know this looks great for residential projects - am uncertain how it would last with heavy traffic.

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AmebaTost 5 years, 11 months ago

Ever try to shovel stamped concrete? What do you think a big plow truck would do to all those little grooves in the concrete?

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SilverSpoon 5 years, 11 months ago

A one lane lincoln will be fun during TC season. They should try a pilot program of 1 way lincoln, and 1 way oak. A mandatory right hand turn off of lincoln at 3rd, going west. Maybe that will stop people from making a left out of the post office? If it works, it could be the permanent solution our traffic woes.

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dave reynolds 5 years, 11 months ago

never happen..i had someone on downhill drive go into the right hand turn lane then turn LEFT right in front of me..like people in this town know how to drive give me a break ..passing on double yellow lines using turn lane for passing running stop signs and red lights speeding tailgateing not letting you merge at the cook chey right turn on lincoln not to mention the merge at dream island gotta get around you youre going to slow the heck with your life your kids life and anybody else who happens to be involved i have to pas you a will put you at risk so i can get to work or destination just a few minutes earlier passing on the left when you have the left turn signal on using shoulder of road for the steamboat swerve so i dont have to slow down and by God i got to the stop light 20 secs before you did then theres the u turns on lincoln the guy at the light across for you decides you didnt accelerate fast enough so he turns in front of you the list goes on..i deal with this crap five days a week..rip on me if you will but if you do not notice these things then your head is in the sand..and no i am not perfect but better than most.professional driver for 20 plus years

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rsssco 5 years, 11 months ago

SilverSpoon, Did you actually read the article or do you just vomit whatever pops into your mind on the forum? The article reads: "...will begin in September 2009. Public Works Director Philo Shelton said the start date should be a relief to downtown business owners and others, because CDOT originally planned to repave the road in the traffic-heavy summer. The construction will take a break during ski season. It will resume and is planned for completion in spring 2010." In other words SilverSpoon, people who actually get things done, instead of hanging out on the forum crying and whining all day, scheduled the work so it will not conflict with the traffic heavy summer including the period when TC is in town.

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MtnWarlock 5 years, 11 months ago

woodsy, I'm having a hard time finding the nose ring on the grill of those new mustang! LOL! If we do nothing with the roads, they will crimble and turn to mud again anyway! My old glue factory mare would love it! Can't get a DUI riding your horse home from the Cantina after a few Margs, can you? Maybe it's a RWI! LOL! Forgot about our wonderful mounted patrol. Have a good one!

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Hammer 5 years, 11 months ago

I totally agree with paddlefisher also. Incredibly bad driving in Steamboat.

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grannyrett 5 years, 11 months ago

paddlefisher-great post, but it isn't just in Steamboat. It's everywhere. I can't believe how rude drivers are all the time. Passing on double yellows, around blind curves, at the top of hills. It's scary out there.

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Tricia Nickerson 5 years, 11 months ago

Yep. You sure can get a DUI on a horse or a bicycle. I agree with Paddlefisher and grannyrett. Some people turn inhuman when they get behind the wheel. Frustrating. I had a car accident. Our lives are short enough as it is to be risked by someone trying to get to work or whatever a few minutes sooner. Wish they would wake up and smell the mountain air.

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dave reynolds 5 years, 11 months ago

I had a friend back home who got a speeding ticket and a DUI on a bicycle..no i do not drive a bus I drive a truck.everyone please be safe out there

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dave reynolds 5 years, 11 months ago

Oh almost forgot grannyrett i have a court date because i turned someone in for passing on dbl yellow just past riverbend with six cars heading east had to pull on to shoulder to prevent accident...they stopped that person in hayden

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colowoodsman 5 years, 11 months ago

It looks like the City really 'shot themselves in the foot' with this one. $10.5m would have gone a long way towards solving the traffic problems west of town. Instead we will be getting a spruced up 'parade route' for the greedy downtown merchants and we will be at the 'end of the line' for any more highway money.Better put 700 on hold for a couple years untill things get straightened out!

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rsssco 5 years, 11 months ago

colowoodsman That is certainly one way to look at it when you have no idea what your talking about. The money is the state and federal government's money and the project site is designated by the state based on a normal multi-year cycle of road maintenance to existing roads. Further, that 10.5m of state funds is only enough to re-work a .7 mile stretch of Rt. 40. Not anywhere enough to do anything about west of town traffic issues.
In fact, the 10.5 wouldn't even begin to cover the legal costs, environmental studies, land purchases or a host of other thorny issues associated with any widening of Rt. 40 west of town. So if you have a complaint feel free to go lobby the state and federal governent who are funding the project on a respective 20/80 split and/or offer educated, informed ways for the state and feds to raise additional highway funds. And of course you'd know this had you gotten of your lazy duff and been at the meeting last night where all of this was discussed. You could have even stepped up and told the council and local business folks who are working on these issues instead of hiding behind a computer what a bunch of greedy idiots they are. But--if you prefer to spread your usual uninformed nonsense--have at it. You'll continue to be recognized for the fool you are.

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rsssco 5 years, 11 months ago

Also colowoodsman, feel free to contact CDOT Resident Engineer R. Van Pilaud who has given 25 years of his life to road construction in NorthWest Colorado and who is the project engineer. Tell him what an idiot he is for being led around by the nose by the greedy merchants and the city council. I'm sure he'd love to hear from you. But you may want to contact him by phone as from the looks of him he'd easily squash you like an annoying insect.

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colowoodsman 5 years, 11 months ago

Right-There is absolutely NO politics involved here at all. With roads crumbling across the state resurfacing the Mustang Stable is a real high priority! I know that SS prices are really inflated but $10.5m for .7mi. is about $2,800 a foot. It only cost $1,000 a foot(not adjusted for inflation) to build the first Eisenhower Tunnel. Do you really belive $10.5m would not help out west of town? Wouldn't even buy a stop light ,huh? Get real! I may not squash as easy as you think!

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plowman 5 years, 11 months ago

I have to agree with you paddlefisher, I to spend a lot of time on the road. It is hard to belive there are not more accidents than there are. One thing that nobody has pointed out is that all that they need to do is remove the asphalt from main street and they will have the concrete that they all seem to think is so great . Then they can see all of the problems that come with it and see why there is asphalt on top of it.

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