Granby looks to improve pedestrian safety with new streetscape project | SkyHiNews.com

Granby looks to improve pedestrian safety with new streetscape project

This conceptual drawing, developed by students from the University of Colorado's Center for Community Development, was included in an initial project proposal presented to the Granby Board in August. The town expects to conduct some form of streetscape improvements on Agate Avenue next year.

Granby residents could see some significant changes to the town's main drag next year as municipal officials look to make Agate Avenue more pedestrian friendly.

Earlier this summer Granby's Board of Trustees began the lengthy process of initiating a new streetscape project. The project, currently in the development phase with no formal decisions yet made, seeks to make Granby's downtown business corridor more pedestrian friendly by utilizing a variety of design elements and engineered features such as bike lanes and sidewalk bulb outs.

The project has not yet been approved by the town board and continued development and planning is expected to occur throughout the remainder of the fall and coming winter. Granby Town Manager Aaron Blair said the goal is to have an implementable plan by next spring or summer.

"The town board wants to see some improvements happen in 2019," Blair said. "We are in the planning and development phase. We should be looking to get into some form of an engineering phase throughout the winter."

Work on the streetscape project began in earnest in early August when students from the University of Colorado' Center for Community Development toured Granby's Agate Avenue. The students are part of a program operated by the Center for Community Development that utilizes students from CU to help develop preliminary designs for communities like Granby.

The students presented a series of 10 potential design schemes to the town board in late August. The board then provided feedback to the students regarding those preliminary designs. Blair said the town expects the students to present a series of redesigned streetscape plans to the board later this year, sometime in November or December depending upon other town business.

As the town awaits the resubmittal of the new streetscape design schemes town officials are also working with representatives of the Colorado Department of Transportation regarding what sort of projects will be acceptable to CDOT. Granby's Agate Avenue is also US Highway 40. As such any improvements or changes the town would look to make on the highway corridor must also be approved by CDOT.

Blair noted Granby is currently preparing to conduct a traffic analysis for Agate Avenue, "so we have some data to share with CDOT before we propose something." Blair was unable to give any projected costs for the future project at this time, saying figures would be heavily dependent upon the specific design scheme selected by the town board.

"It is probably going to be a million dollar project at least," Blair said. "But we won't know until later. It all depends on if we phase the project, if we look at CODT funding opportunities. We know it is a critical project that we have to deal with. The traffic is not slowing down."

Blair said the town will utilize funds from the 10-year capital investment fund, which has been bolstered recently with the sale Shorefox land to Sun Communities. Blair said the town will also look to utilize any available funds from CDOT or any potential grants.

The streetscape project will likely include items such as curb bulb outs, aesthetic design elements and entry features at Granby's east and west end. Blair noted that medians are also being considered at this time and the town is looking to improve bike safety through the project as well.

"We are looking at everything from possible a possible median, to lane width reduction," Blair said.

The work will be done in coordination with Granby's ongoing parking improvements project though Blair noted the two issues are technically being handled as two separate items.

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