Mason Street from Laurel Street to Cherry Street is scheduled to be repaved in September as part of the City of Fort Collins 2013 Street Maintenance Program. At this time, Mason Street will be restriped to simplify mixed traffic patterns and improve safety.
In August 2012, Mason Street was converted to a two-way traffic pattern and striping was implemented in a way that preserved as much parking as possible. City staff has taken the past 10 months to examine the current striping plan in action and collect traffic data. Observations of real-life driving and biking practices led to the conclusion that the striping plan should be improved.
To reduce confusion and improve safety, a cross-disciplinary team of planners, engineers, and bicycle and parking experts have developed a new striping plan. Staff thoroughly explored all options to minimize traffic and commerce impacts.
The new striping plan will:
• Provide a continuous bike lane north of Mountain, and continuous shared lane markings (sharrows) south of Mountain
• Eliminate the “jog” at each intersection by changing the current left turn lane to a through-left
• Change the current through lanes into right-turn lanes (with MAX buses exempt as they approach stations every other block)
• Address the very narrow lanes northbound from Laurel to Mulberry by removing some parking
The restriping plan will facilitate the necessary safety improvements to Mason Street; the City anticipates that as travel on Mason is simplified and safety is enhanced, more bicyclists and motorists will return to this street for convenient travel and Downtown access. The adjustments, however, will result in an unavoidable loss of 25 on-street parking spaces between Laurel and Mulberry. To that end, the team examined strategies to minimize the impact of lost parking. A delivery and emergency vehicle pull-out near Laurel and Mason is proposed to serve this busy commercial area. Additionally, it is expected that once the MAX Bus Rapid Transit system is operational, more people will opt to ride into Downtown as opposed to drive and park.
The completed striping design has been presented to Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railroad and the Public Utilities Commission for approval. Once approved, the new plan will be implemented after the asphalt overlay is placed in September.
City staff will work in the weeks leading up to the restriping effort to communicate construction timing, alternate parking options, and prepare the community for the change. Paving and striping operations will occur at night to minimize impacts on traffic and area businesses.
For updates about the September Mason Street paving operation, please visit fcgov.com/smp
. For details regarding the Mason Corridor, visit fcgov.com/mason