Pedestrian and motorist safety is on the upswing as the city and CDOT partner on a number of roadway projects across town.
The long-awaited pedestrian crossing at the junction of Union Pacific’s rail crossing along Highway 52 through the center of town is in work and expected to be completed shortly. Projections put the completion ahead of Fort Lupton City Councilman Bob McWilliams’ desires to have the crossing completed by Trapper Days, but just missing Mayor Tommy Holton’s perhaps optimistic hopes that the sidewalks would be in by this year’s Fourth of July celebration.
Directly to the west, a pair of new traffic lights is going in, one at the corner of First Street and Denver Avenue and the other at First Street and McKinley Avenue. Both will feature improved pedestrian crossings and signaling, and the potential for synchronization.
“What we are hoping to do is to get all the lights in town to sync. You know how if you go to Greeley and go a certain speed you make all the lights?” Holton said. “That is what we are hoping for here, to get rid of some of the traffic during certain times of the day.
“That was a separate contract with the outfit that is doing the work for CDOT, putting in the traffic lights, is also doing our Safe Route to Schools projects that we have been working on for the last seven years,” Holton added. “I told them to put the pedal down on it. I want those sidewalks in before someone gets hurt on the crossing or walking out on Highway 52.”
Also going in are flashing school zone lights on First Avenue and Fulton Street to slow traffic on school days.
“The crossing guards have already been clipped twice. No injuries yet, but they get hit with mirrors or something by people not paying attention to the kids crossing the road,” Holton said.
North on Denver Avenue, resurfacing operations are under way in a partnership with CDOT. Under terms of the agreement, the city provided $76,370 of material in the form of asphalt, with CDOT providing the equipment and labor.
“That’s for Denver Avenue from First up to 11th,” Holton said. “Then we are going to try and do from 11th all the way to 14th out to the highway, because that is another bad one. This is all coming out of that street sales tax approved a while back.”
Across town, the popular park-n-ride lot adjacent to Pearson Park on the east remains closed, most likely for good. Based on CDOT criteria that deem the lot too close to the U.S 85 interchange, the lot represents a safety hazard for motorists and the transportation agency is sticking to their guns on the closure.
Talks are under way between the city and CDOT officials concerning a new lot to the west near Pearson Park, offering the possibility of a new park-n-ride for commuters. CDOT has offered to beautify the old lot with native grasses and fencing in conjunction with the city.
“CDOT has really been working well with us on these projects,” Holton said. “It’s been a good partnership.”