The City of Littleton is moving ahead with plans to improve intersections, bike lanes and walkways around Mineral Avenue in a bid to reduce traffic speeds and make the area more pedestrian-friendly.
The project, known as the Mineral Mobility Improvements, will be funded by a $2 million grant the city secured from the Colorado Department of Transportation.
Officials from the city's planning department, during a June 22 virtual meeting, presented their latest ideas to more than a dozen Littleton residents who joined the call. Plans were drafted using feedback from prior community outreach that included a survey and focus group, officials said.
While city staff acknowledged that $2 million would be far from enough to carry out all the proposals that have been put forward for the area, they hoped to use the community dialogue to "provide momentum" for future projects that could be funded through other means, such as sales tax spending, according to Transportation Planner Shane Roberts.
During the meeting, staff focused on proposals in seven areas just east of the Santa Fe Drive and Mineral Avenue intersection, one of the busiest in the city. Those are:
Possible improvements in various areas include creating protected bike paths and intersections with physical barriers, widened sidewalks to accommodate for pedestrians and bicyclists, push buttons to signal safe pedestrian crossings and small roundabouts to reduce vehicle speeds.
When asked for feedback, most residents watching online said they were in favor of the various proposals. Some questioned the need for physical barriers for bike lanes and the use of roundabouts, citing a lack of car-related accidents in the area.
Aaron Heumann, the city's traffic engineering manager, said the aim of the project is to be preventative when it comes to safety as well as to make the area more accessible.
“While we haven’t had a history of crashes, which is great, we certainly don’t want to start having one now," Heumann said. “We’re trying to achieve bike lanes in the city that aren’t just for the serious riders ... we want bike lanes that can be attainable for all types of riders."
The area is still prone to accidents, according to Hannah Polow, senior transportation planner for David Evans, a consulting firm hired by the city for the project.
“We do have a concern, especially at the Mineral and Jackass intersection … of vehicle and bicyclist accidents," Polow said.
Along with the updates along and around Mineral, city staff are eyeing a major overhaul of the Santa Fe and Mineral intersection, a project that could cost about $1.9 million and that would be funded through sales tax revenue and possible grants.
And updates to areas near High Line Canal could continue beyond the Mineral project with the city working alongside Arapahoe County and the newly formed High Line Canal Collaborative, which is looking to pour $130 million over the next 15 years into the waterway that runs through Adams, Arapahoe, Denver and Douglas counties.
City officials are aiming to complete final designs on the Mineral project by the end of this year, with construction beginning in 2023.
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