In an effort to prioritize mobility needs in the area, the Regional Transportation District (RTD) is conducting the Northwest Area Mobility Study, a 13-month study focusing on five key subjects.
The study, which began in early March, was started because of the lack of cash resources to fund parts of the FasTracks project in the north metro area in the near term, said Nadine Lee, RTD engineering project manager. She said before RTD moves forward with FasTracks, officials hope to gain knowledge on the mobility needs of the northwest area.
“Part of the emphasis of the study is to address the mobility issues in advance of being able to afford the project in the northwest area,” she said. “Stakeholders in the area were beginning to feel left behind and were concerned, so RTD decided to address the mobility needs in the area, beginning with the study.”
The five areas of study include: determining the remaining BRT funding priorities for US 36, evaluating the feasibility and cost of constructing the Northwest Rail in segments, evaluating potential for extending North Metro Line to Longmont, evaluating potential mobility improvements in the area such as BRT on Diagonal and US 287, and analyzing potential alternatives to facilitate reverse commute between downtown Denver and US 36.
Lee said in terms of phasing the construction of the Northwest Rail, which runs from Denver Union Station to Longmont, the study will evaluate operational/service options. The first 6.2-mile segment to 71st and Lowell in Westminster of the Northwest Rail is currently under construction.
Lee said RTD is gaining input on the study from a Policy Advisory Committee comprised of elected officials who represent the corridor, and will be hosting many community meetings to hear opinions from the public.
“We are hoping for a consensus from the stakeholders and RTD in terms of a package of mobility improvements that we can afford,” she said. “The study is meant to look at what we can do and figure out the funding as to how we can actually implement those things.”
For more information on the Northwest Area Mobility study, go online to www.rtd-fastracks.com/nams_1.