THE city and the Colorado Department of Transportation will get to work as early as next week to make modifications to the redesign of Main Street Alamosa.
The Alamosa City Council on Wednesday adopted a series of recommendations presented by City Manager Heather Brooks intended to address safety concerns raised by some residents. The adjustments include:
- Moving the parking blocks 12 inches closer to the curb on each side of Main.
- Re-marking parking stripes 6 inches closer to the parking blocks to gain additional space, as shown above.
- Providing four additional ADA parking spaces to the side streets off Main.
- Increasing police patrol to enforce the 25 MPH speed limit on Main.
The city also will be adding pedestrian crossing lights to these intersections: Main Street and San Juan Avenue, Sixth Street and San Juan, Main Street and Hunt Avenue, and Sixth Street and Hunt.
“I just want to thank the staff for listening to the people,” said Councilman Charlie Griego. “We both have to work together, the community and the city, to make this successful and I think it will be.”
It’s been 66 days since the city and CDOT reduced Main Street to two lanes from three lanes as part of a designed “road diet” intended to slow vehicular traffic and cater to downtown pedestrians. Brooks said the city has “seen a dramatic reduction in speed” and “changes in driver behavior.”
Overall, City Hall has been pleased with the results of a more active Main Street, but some residents have complained about the redesign as a safety hazard both for vehicles and pedestrians.
The Alamosa Citizen’s earlier coverage is below, including its recent question-and-answer exchange with CDOT on the Main Street redesign, or what CDOT calls the “U.S. 160 Alamosa Road Diet.”
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OCTOBER 4, 2021
CDOT, city look at
Main Street adjustments
THE Colorado Department of Transportation and city of Alamosa are discussing changes to what CDOT calls the “U.S. 160 Alamosa Road Diet” in response to community reaction to the reduction of lanes and narrower driving space for vehicles.
Alamosa City Manager Heather Brooks is expected to go through those changes at Wednesday’s city council meeting in response to requests from city council members for modifications to the existing design.
In an email exchange with Alamosa Citizen, CDOT Traffic and Safety Program Manager Jen Allison responded, “CDOT Regional Transportation Director (Julie Constan) and Traffic and Safety Program Manager (Jen Allison) have been working closely with Heather Brooks, Alamosa city manager, on possible changes that could be implemented based on the community feedback the city has received. CDOT is considering recommending that the parking stops be moved towards the curb; the exact distance is under discussion.”
Brooks is expected to tell the city council how far the curbs will move in to give more space to passing cars and for people parking on Main Street to safely get out of their vehicles.
“CDOT does have some concerns with occupants of vehicles getting into and out of their vehicles when parked on Main Street, if traffic is present,” Allison said. “This is why CDOT is considering recommending adjusting the parking stops. If any other pedestrian safety concerns arise as a result of this redesign, CDOT and the City of Alamosa will work closely to monitor the downtown environment and/or any incidents to determine if design changes need to be made.”
In addition to moving the parking stops in several inches, the city is also installing pedestrian safety lights at Main Street and San Juan and Main and Hunt, as well working to improve the wayfinding signage through downtown Alamosa to highlight off-Main Street parking, among other Downtown features.
The state department of transportation told Alamosa Citizen it would like to see any changes made this year, before winter. It also doesn’t see an issue with snow removal in the current Main Street configuration. Read more of The Citizen’s email exchange with CDOT below:
Answered by Jen Allison,
CDOT Traffic & Safety Program Manager
Can modifications, if adopted, be made in 2021 or wait until 2022?
ANSWER: CDOT would prefer to see any potential changes made this season, before winter. Both the city of Alamosa and CDOT are working hard to meet that goal.
How will the redesign of Alamosa Main Street adapt for winter and for snow removal? Is the current design an issue in that regard?
ANSWER: Plowing the current configuration is feasible as designed. Any changes to the current design that CDOT and the City have been looking at would not impede snow removal. We are working with our Alamosa maintenance patrol so that they are prepared with any needed modifications to the snow removal process this coming winter.
When will pedestrian lights go into effect at Main and San Juan and Main and Hunt? Is that CDOT responsibility or the city of Alamosa’s responsibility?
ANSWER: The pedestrian signals are a purchase that the City of Alamosa is responsible for. CDOT is willing to partner with the city to help with installation of these, once purchased.
What is the current vehicular count on Highway 160 through Alamosa? In other words, how much daily traffic flows through Main Street Alamosa and has CDOT seen increases to the traffic count over the past decade?
ANSWER: The most recent traffic counts from 2020 indicate that the annual average daily traffic (AADT) on US 160 through Alamosa is 8400 vehicles. CDOT has noticed an uptick in traffic volumes, increasing within the last two years on highways across the entire state. In general, there may be some fluctuation over a 10-year period for traffic volumes. We especially need to take into account circumstances that influence driver behavior such as COVID-19.
Is CDOT studying any ways to create a semi-truck, commercial vehicle bypass around Alamosa that takes heavy truck traffic off Main Street? If not, why not?
ANSWER: CDOT does not have any planned studies for ways to create a bypass. CDOT is reviewing the operation of the road diet and how commercial traffic is able to navigate this section of the highway. This is another reason CDOT is considering recommending adjusting the parking stops.
More Main Street coverage HERE