Citizen lobbies CDOT for turn lane on Red Dirt Hill
Driving from Fraser to Granby can be a daunting endeavor depending on the time of year, but the section of Highway 40 descending from Red Dirt Hill to the Granby flats is among the most precarious points along the route. Now one local citizen is lobbying Colorado’s Department of Transportation to do something about it.
Several weeks ago Grand County resident Carol Sidofsky was driving to Granby when she had a near miss on Red Dirt Hill.
“I was coming down the west side of Red dirt Hill when all of a sudden I saw a car ahead of me blocking the road,” Sidofsky said. “I had to slam on my brakes so I wouldn’t hit the car.”
Sidofsky said the car she almost hit, on the downward slope of Red Dirt Hill, was stopped on Highway 40 waiting for uphill traffic to pass before turning into Homestead Hills on County Road 54.
“The problem was there was no left turn lane for cars to get into Homestead Hills. It was dangerous and had it been slick, there could have been all sorts of accidents,” she explained.
Sidofsky said she reached out to CDOT to talk about the potential for having a left turn lane added onto that section of the highway. She spoke with an official who politely acknowledged her concerns and recommended seeing if either the county government or local homeowners association would be willing to partner in a potential future project.
“He was a nice guy, but I kind of got the feeling that it was not high on the priority list,” she said.
Sidofsky’s tale will be familiar to most anyone who regularly commutes between the Fraser Valley and Granby. The local homeowners association has even issued tips to local residents on how to avoid danger when heading into Homestead Hills.
“I would love to see a turn lane there,” said Steve Lawless, Homestead Hills HOA president. “We pursued it in the past with CDOT. The response we received from them, historically, has been that it would be too expensive and is not high on their priority list.”
Lawless said the Homestead Hills HOA has given a few tips to local homeowners who may be looking to turn onto County Road 54. The HOA suggests that any drivers who are concerned about vehicles coming down the highway behind them from the east continue driving past the turn into Homestead Hills rather than turning from the westbound lane then turning around at the next safest location and returning to the entrance to the HOA from the eastbound lanes.
Officials from CDOT had not returned requests for comment on this story as of press time.
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