Left turns from Main Avenue to 14th Street are likely to be prohibited
A Midtown Durango transportation study completed last year identified 15th Avenue as an area to reduce traffic congestion, improve safety, and comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act ahead of the expected increase in traffic in the next few years. It is recommended to change East 2nd Avenue between and 13th Avenue.
However, the proposed changes have embarrassed residents and business owners in the project area and raised concerns about possible loss of parking spaces and worsening access to property.
At a public meeting Tuesday at the Durango Public Library, SEH Engineering’s Steve Winters said the Colorado Department of Transportation is already working to eliminate the left-turn option from Main Avenue to 14th Street. The traffic study also suggests turning East 2nd Avenue between 15th and 13th Avenues into a southbound one-way route.
The traffic study also found that the mini-roundabout at the three-way intersection of Florida Road, 15th Avenue, and East 3rd Avenue worked as expected in what some residents know as the “dysfunctional intersection.” was also identified as the best option for .
Lars Hansen, who lives on the corner of 13th and East 2nd Avenues and whose wife owns Handcrafted House at 1323 East 2nd Avenue, said none of the options presented to him on Tuesday would work for his wife. said it did not satisfy his concerns about access to the business.
He said his wife sells paints, stains, plastics and sealers and relies on semi-trucks and UPS vans for delivery.
“We are very dependent on parking,” he said.
Mr. Hansen brought his own presentation materials to the multimodal conference, demonstrating to attendees other options that would not make East Second Avenue one-way or eliminate left turns from Main Avenue to Fourteenth Avenue.
The top image on Hansen’s poster board showed a large red “X” over the project area, accompanied by the words “no change” in capital letters.
“I absolutely request that you have meetings with businesses and property owners in the affected areas to discuss it before it is released to the public,” he said.
He said the city should lower the speed limit at the breakdown junction between 15th and 13th streets and East Second Avenue, or leave Midtown alone.
Devin King, the city’s transportation complex manager, said several alternative designs are under consideration for the proposed changes, but nothing has been finalized and public feedback is welcome. Stated. Additional public meetings are planned for this summer.
He said the city is aware of concerns about access to businesses in the Midtown area, and limiting the impact on business owners and residents is a key component of the project.
He said representatives of companies including Vanburger, Smart Enterprise, Auto Repair and Durango Furniture & Mattresses have contacted the city expressing concerns about the proposed redesign of Durango’s Midtown main road.
“We’re looking into all of this and trying to figure out how all these companies and properties maintain access to their assets and the functioning of their businesses,” King said.
Sweetie Marbury, of Durango, said she was concerned about the suggestion of a roundabout at a faulty junction. A roundabout further north on Florida Road near Chapman Hill is effective in slowing traffic, but the intersection of Florida Road, 15th Avenue, and East 3rd Avenue is too small for a roundabout.
Winters said the roundabout is the best-determined alternative so far because it allows traffic to pass and traffic jams.
Several residents who attended the meeting said they were hesitant about having a roundabout at the intersection because of the slope of 15th Street.
Nancy Agro, who lives on Riverview Drive near Chapman Hill, said she and her family are avid bike enthusiasts, and her son has ridden once on Florida Road, once on Main Avenue, and the Smiley Building at 1309 East. He said he was hit by a car three times, once in the vicinity. third avenue.
She said the problem with the Chapman Hill roundabout is that cyclists have to get caught in vehicular traffic to travel Florida Road. Even for cars, getting onto Florida Road from Riverview Drive can be a nightmare. This is because the car does not stop or slow down for the person entering the road.
An even smaller roundabout at the intersection of 15th Street, Florida Road and East 3rd Avenue is of concern, she said.
Winters said there aren’t many strong solutions to junction failures, but mini-roundabouts are the city’s best bet.
“I think the construction of the roundabout will make traffic safer and we can come up with a solution for cyclists and[pedestrians]to get through it safely,” Winters said.
One option, King added, is to install off-ramps for cyclists so they can cross intersections without getting stuck in traffic.
Tuesday’s public meeting is just the first of several that will take place this summer. King said next steps would include more public meetings and opportunities for residents to give feedback to the city, followed by design meetings and expanded activities in the fall and winter.
The design is expected to be finalized early next year, but construction is not expected to begin until 2026, and many factors could affect the actual start date, he said.