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Signal could calm Granby traffic; getting one is complicated

This view of the intersections of 4th and 6th Streets at E Agate Ave show potential locations for a street signal.
Town of Granby

Traffic on Granby’s main street has been a discussion for years and a subject of multiple studies. At Tuesday’s town board meeting, the conversation about how to deal with this complex problem continued.

At the meeting, Granby Mayor Paul Chavoustie reminded those present that heavy summer traffic remains a concern even when winter makes it easier for pedestrians and drivers to navigate Agate Avenue.

The town has budgeted for a possible traffic signal for 2020, but the conversation is just beginning and nothing has been finalized.

Even if the light is paid for with town finances, Granby must get approval from the Colorado Department of Transportation to install it.

Town engineer Dan Cokely of SGM presented the town board his findings from analyzing 4th and 6th Streets based on two previous traffic studies.

One study was the Traffic Operational Assessment conducted this year by Bowman Consulting.

This study found that even though many in town would prefer the intersection at 4th Street for a traffic light, the intersection does not warrant a signal, according to CDOT guidelines. If the town wants a signal at 4th Street, it would first have to divert traffic from 6th Street to increase demand.

The intersection at 6th Street and East Agate Avenue/US Highway 40 does meet the peak and four hour warrant volumes for a signal.

But that intersection presents its own challenges.

The main struggle with 6th Street is that County Road 60 intersects the road just north of US Highway 40. Its location and road layout present many difficult decisions for any sort of change.

Cokely also reviewed a 2006 study, which looked at possible ways to access US Highway 40 from 6th Street to County Road 53.

This study did not identify 6th or 4th Street as a future signal location and instead suggested alternative road configurations at 6th Street.

The study recommended configurations including a roundabout or introducing thru roads, which would cross over existing private property. The town board agreed this would not be an effective solution.

While there are many alternative infrastructure efforts that could lead to a CDOT-approved traffic light and/or help with calming Granby’s main road, there are no easy answers.

“This would have been solved years ago if it was simple,” Chavoustie said during the meeting.

The town board plans to continue these discussions and host multiple workshops before any decisions are made. The town board will also soon see a more in-depth presentation on the details of the 2019 traffic study.

In other business:

  • During executive session, the board extended an offer to a candidate for town manager. The announcement of the manager will be made at the Jan. 14 town meeting.
  • The town board approved bids on a loader and excavator for public works.
  • The Recreation, Open Space and Housing Foundation requested the town board approve an appointment of a board member. The town board denied the approval 4-3, citing that the ROSH board should recruit applications from residents in Granby Ranch.
  • A representative from the Colorado Headwaters Land Trust presented on a drafted appraisal report for a planned conservation easement on the Granby Trails Highlands.
  • The board rejected a proposed amendment to a conditional use permit from Reclamation Ridge for a gravel pit operation.

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