Fraser to improve visibility of new US 40 medians
Fraser is taking steps to address some concerns raised by residents and town trustees around the newly installed medians on US Highway 40 while planning for future projects.
At the regular meeting of the Fraser Board of Trustees on Wednesday, members spoke about visibility, bike safety and the need for more signage before town officials touched on what’s being done to assuage concerns.
According to the Colorado Department of Transportation, the project is mostly complete, but there is still work to be done. Much of the discussion on adjustments centered around improving visibility, especially at night, and the surrounding signage.
Town Manager Jeff Durbin noted he has spoken with some residents who suggested painting around the curb or adding lights.
“Painting the curbs reflective yellow paint is not going to happen,” he said. “(CDOT) wouldn’t approve that because that’s what they do to paint the striping, so they look at that as something that would confuse drivers.”
Instead, the town will be installing higher-wattage light bulbs in the lights next to the crosswalks, more reflective signage and potentially placing solar light fixtures in the medians and more reflectors on the curvy parts of the road. Landscaping and gardening on the medians will likely take place next year.
Durbin added that the town’s public works department and police department are continuing to monitor for other problem areas or visibility issues.
“I’ve asked (them) to keep an eye on it since they’re out there at nighttime all the time,” he said.
Trustees Katie Soles and Herb Meyring noted the project didn’t include a designated bike lane, which leaves bikers with the choice of sharing the road or the sidewalk.
“I think if you ride a bike going north through there, like I have, it’s tight,” Meyring said.
Soles also mentioned her unease the width of certain bumpouts, particularly near the Headwaters Trails Alliance and visitor’s center, because they don’t give drivers a lot of room to maneuver.
“It sticks way out, it’s a block, it’s difficult to see and we’ve removed any option for people coming from (the visitor’s center) to have an escape or a little bit of a way to merge into traffic,” she explained. “It’s too narrow, there’s not enough room for traffic and bicycles and from what I understand … that is too narrow for wide loads.”
However, Fraser Winter Park Police Chief Glen Trainor confirmed he hasn’t seen any issues with wide loads getting through the space. Durbin also noted that the Colorado Department of Transportation’s Oversized Vehicle Unit took measurements to ensure a proper fit.
CDOT is also currently working on a capacity study for the portion of US 40 from Rendezvous to County Road 5, which could address some concerns as well.
Overall, the trustees agreed the project has been successful at improving pedestrian safety and making the downtown area more walkable.
“The crosswalks have been working great,” Soles said. “People are really paying attention.”
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