The correct technical approach for enabling safe, effective transportation through our residential neighborhood has been promoted by multiple ONEN governing documents, the Colorado College Transportation Master Plan (CCTMP), and numerous City officials (including the City Traffic Engineer, Kathleen Krager). All four of our minor arterials should be reduced from four lanes to 2. On this page, we answer some questions that concerned neighbors have expressed over the years.
- Isn’t this a crazy idea? The City Traffic Engineer and a private consulting firm (for the CCTMP), working independently, composed comprehensive safety sizing plans years ago, when traffic volume was higher on Nevada. This shows that professional, career transportation planners see it as a technically feasible best practice. In the judgement of professionals, it is the correct technical solution.
- Where will all the traffic go? The apparent congestion on Nevada is due to the traffic signals at Uintah and Fillmore. Since Uintah is a busier street, the green light on Nevada across Uintah is only 30 seconds, while the green light on Uintah across Nevada is more than twice as long. This causes a backup at the light, and the feeling of congestion. Once a group of cars gets clear of the traffic signals, there is no impediment to drivers. The lanes themselves have the capacity to carry far more traffic than is necessary. One lane can carry 20,000 cars per day without impeding drivers. Measurements collected on January 31st, 2018, showed that Nevada had 13,517 cars per day at Fontanero. This is far below the threshold for risk of degraded service. But what about the intersections at Uintah and Fillmore? These would not be altered, and would maintain two through lanes in each direction.
- I don’t believe you or the professional traffic engineers! OK, don’t take our word for it. It has already been proven in a test! In 2012, both northbound lanes were closed for 7 months to rebuild the Rock Island Bridge. The two northbound lanes were combined into one lane, which was diverted through a labyrinth of traffic cones to one of the southbound lanes. After this was completed, the southbound lanes had the same treatment. One cannot deny that this is far more disruptive to traffic than the proposed safety sizing measures. The result to traffic counts on Nevada and Cascade are shown in the CC Transportation Master Plan. They found marginally fewer cars on Nevada from 11 AM to 7 PM, but only a few percent less at the worst moment. Were these cars diverted to Cascade? No. Traffic counts on Cascade showed no perceptible increase during that period. No changes in traffic counts were observed on Wood Avenue, either, and there are no other through-streets between Fillmore and Uintah. If congestion really increased on Nevada, then drivers could have easily gone to Cascade, which evidently did not occur.
- There’s just no way that Nevada isn’t a gridlocked mess! We invite you to come sit on our front porches during rush hour. You’ll see that after the light turns green at Uintah, it takes 45 seconds for a “platoon” of cars to pass our homes at very high speeds (40+ mph). After that, there is over a minute of quiet. How is it that cars can travel above 40 mph on a gridlocked street? How is it that there could be no cars for a minute or more on a gridlocked street? Really, come watch it sometime! Our street is underutilized for most of each traffic light cycle. We can take advantage of that to improve safety for everyone!
- What’s going to happen when I-25 gets shut down again? First, the City has changed the official emergency route to Fillmore and Union, so that it remains on major arterials and not residential streets. Second, again, the problem with capacity of our roads is not the lanes, but the intersections. These will not be altered for Nevada. Third, I-25 has not yet been closed in our area since of the completion Cimmaron interchange. It is wrong to design roads for anomalous events that happen once a year for a couple hours or less.
- You Nevada residents bought homes on a busy street. You get what you deserve. We love our beautiful street! But our objective is not to impede or divert traffic. We are looking for sensible ways to improve safety for everyone, residents and commuters. Studies show that the proposed improvements will cause cut-through drivers to spend 40 more seconds driving between Uintah and Fillmore. This is not too much to ask.