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PO Box 1575, Mail Code 410
30 S. Nevada Ave, Suite 401
Colorado Springs, CO 80903
Phone: (719) 385-5918
Fax: (719) 385-5537
Email: cityengineering@sp. . .





City of Colorado Springs / City Engineering / HES Projects / Hazard Elimination and Safety (HES) Program / East Platte Avenue Safety Project / Background of East Platte Avenue Safety Project

Background of East Platte Avenue Safety Project

 

Background
As a state highway, Platte has historically been the main vehicle and commercial eastern gateway into Colorado Springs. In the 1990s State Highway 24 was re-routed and Platte was designated to continue as a truck route; a function it still performs today. The adoption of the Intermodel Transportation Plan in 2001 further confirmed the identification of this facility as a principal arterial. Platte, in it entirety, was identified as one of five critical arterials for east-west traffic flow with adoption of the East-West Mobility Study in 2002.

Today, Platte is on the City's best performing arterials. 2007 travel time studies showed that through travel speeds decreased slightly compared to the previous year, on average drivers on Platte proceed through eight green traffic signals before being stopped by a red one-better flow than found on any of the other seven arterials the City studies annually. Eighty-five percent of drivers are traveling this corridor at 40 to 41 mph. Vehicle volumes along this stretch of road have recently decreased from 35,000 in 2006 to a current level of 25,000 vehicles per day.

East Platte Avenue
East Platte Ave
Platte Corridor
Platte Corridor

The issue of safety in this corridor was first raised through citizen complaints in 2005. In early 2006, the City held a public meeting to solicit inputs from concerned citizens on the issue. Not many residents attended, yet the City had conducted an analysis that indicated the corridor was indeed a high-accident area. Later in 2006, the City applied for a competitive Federal Hazard Elimination and Safety grant, administered by the Colorado Department of Transportation, to address the issue. The City received $300,000 in funding in 2007, plus additional funding through PPRTA in 2008. The PPRTA funding is what is currently being utilized for the public involvement and design portion of the project. In October 2008, City engineering staff awarded a preliminary design contract to JR Engineering.
 
Issues
  • Trees. Most trees are 5 to 8 feet from the curb, therefore City Forestry staff will be very involved in the project.
  • Funding. Because the limited funding is primarily from a federal safety grant, improvements must be spent on safety issues. Other items such as drainage and landscaping will be addressed, though improvements may be limited due to the amount and constraint of the funding.
  • Neighborhood character. The vast majority of development along the entirety of Platte is commercial. This section and the section directly west, are exceptions with co-mingled commercial and residential uses.
  • Arterial preservation. Arterials are intended to carry large volumes of vehicles extended distances (e.g. 1 to 5 miles); solutions for this portion of Platte must continue to serve the entire community by allowing the efficient conveyance of large traffic volumes.

Public Involvement
While there is a federally-mandated public involvement process due to federal funding, this project's planned public involvement process far exceeds that requirement.

In December 2008, project team members visited with residents and businesses going door-to-door along the project corridor. Throughout December and January they also conducted interviews with key stakeholders, such as: Walgreens, Platte Floral & Greenhouse, School District 11, JC Tailor, Council of Neighbors and Organizations (CONO), Boulder Park Homeowners Association, and the Platte Avenue Neighborhood/Business Association.

A public open house was held February 17, 2009 at the U.S. Olympic Training Center to share the working group's progress and possible solutions with interested stakeholders. Based on the working group's recommendations and public feedback, the most favorable design options included:

  • A narrow median from Union Boulevard through Meade Avenue
  • Limiting or prohibiting left turns between Platte Avenue and some side streets
  • Blocking access from Platte Avenue to some of the side streets
  • Several work group meetings are also open to the public. The working group is comprised primarily of volunteers who reside or work in the area and includes a cross-section of neighborhood interests and concerns. The remaining meetings are scheduled from 6 to 8 p.m. at the City Administration Building, Room 102, 30 S. Nevada Ave., on the following Thursdays: Feb. 26, March 5 and March 12. On-street parking is free after 6 p.m.

    Watch for letters (via mail and e-mail) to keep both property owners and renters informed of the project progress. This web page will also be updated for the same purpose.

    Once the public work group and City staff have a preferred design alternative ready to move forward, additional public meeting presentations will be offered to the City's Citizen Transportation Advisory Board, Pike Peak Rural Transportation Authority's Citizens' Advisory Council, Pike Peak Rural Transportation Authority's Board and City Council.

    Platte Working Group August 18, 2009




    PDF - 1-22-09 Platte Work Group Minutes   1-22-09 PLATTE WORK GROUP MINUTESspacer(136.8KB)
    1 22 09 Platte work group minutes.pdf


    HTML - Crash Photos from Platte   CRASH PHOTOS FROM PLATTEspacer(1.4KB)
    2-9Platte crashes.htm


    PDF - Platte Ave Safety Project Update July 2009   PLATTE AVE SAFETY PROJECT UPDATE JULY 2009spacer(49.1KB)
    Platte Ave Safety Project Update July 2009.pdf


    PDF - Working Group Members   WORKING GROUP MEMBERSspacer(52.5KB)
    Platte Ave Safety Project Working Group.pdf


    PDF - Platte Questionaire Results   PLATTE QUESTIONAIRE RESULTSspacer(54.4KB)
    Platte questionnaire results.pdf


    PDF - Draft Traffic Safety Study Report   DRAFT TRAFFIC SAFETY STUDY REPORTspacer(556.8KB)
    Traffic-Safety Report.pdf


    PDF - Final Design Overview   FINAL DESIGN OVERVIEWspacer(8167.9KB)
    Final Design Overview.pdf